This Saturday, it's the National Cereal Festival in Downtown Battle Creek, featuring FREE breakfast at the World's Longest Breakfast Table.

The festival goes back 63 years, to 1956 when the Kellogg  Company celebrated it's 50th year in business.   The idea of an annual celebration didn't really take hold until two decades later, and intensified with the competition with Springfield Massachusetts in the 80's and 90's.  Even though Battle Creek's population area was significantly smaller, Battle Creek often served more bowls of cereal than Springfield's pancakes.

2018 National Cereal Fest-TSM Photo by Tim Collins

The competition stopped several years ago, and the Festival has moved a few times.   It moved west from Michigan Avenue Downtown, to McCamly Park next to the Kool Family Center, and as of last year, to the Festival Market Square at  the corner of Jackson and McCamly.  Last year, things were cut short by rain, but the forecast for this Saturday is perfect!

For many years, the Cereal City Classic, a 5K and 10K run/walk, has coincided with the Cereal Festival.  The event is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m., leaving from the YMCA at 182 Capital Avenue Northeast.

The Cereal City Classic serves as the first leg of the Cereal City Stampede, followed by the Binder Park Zoo Cheetah Chase and the Road Hawg Baja Bolt 5K and 10K. Participants of all three events will receive a Cereal City Stampede T-shirt. Prizes will also be awarded to the best combined times for all three events.

Cost to participate in the Cereal City Classic is $30 and includes a T-shirt. All proceeds go towards programming aimed at fighting childhood obesity. To register, visit runsignup.com.

While you're downtown this Saturday, take a minute to visit the Cereal History Exhibit next to the Visitors Bureau at Riverwalk Center., 34 West Jackson Street.

NATIONAL CEREAL FESTIVAL

• What: World's Longest Breakfast Table

• When: Saturday, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

• Where: Downtown Battle Creek, McCamly St. and Jackson St.

Cost: Free

CEREAL CITY CLASSIC 5K/10K

• What: 5K/10K run walk

• When: Saturday, 8:30 a.m.

• Where: Battle Creek YMCA, 182 Capital Avenue Northeast

• Cost: $30

GRAND CEREAL PARADE

• When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

• Where: Van Buren Street to Capital Ave. (begins at Kool Family Center)

• Cost: Free