DECATUR — Six-year-old Thea Shanks and her mother Brittney travelled from Taylorville to Decatur’s Giggles on Merchant Street, unaware they had a treat awaiting them, a special doughnut.

On Thursday, the downtown gift shop had already begun celebrating National Doughnut Day, with decorations and a Salvation Army bell ringer standing outside the business.

Before the mother and daughter left the store, Thea was already licking the doughnut frosting off of her fingers. She admitted her favorite is the classic glazed.

“It’s the icing,” she said.

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Doughnuts at Giggles of Decatur. 

The rest of the country will celebrate National Doughnut Day during the first Friday in June.

Sullivan Bakery will be serving their special seven-inch round glazed Texas doughnuts. “They are huge,” said owner Dorrie Jankowski.

At $6.59 each, the monster pastry is equivalent to six regular-sized glazed doughnuts, according to Jankowski.

“You could cut it into four or five pieces,” she said. “But, if you’re a kid, you’re going to want it all.”

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The Texas doughnut has been available at the Sullivan Bakery in the past; however, the owners knew Doughnut Day was the ideal time to highlight one the community’s favorites. The staff wanted to introduce a new doughnut during its special day as well. A lemon cake doughnut with raspberry glaze will be offered for the first time at the local bakery. “The combination seems to be really popular right now,” Jankowski said.

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Doughnuts at Giggles of Decatur. 

The traditional favorites will still be available for Doughnut Day, including the cream-filled pastries. The staff began making the holiday treats with more than 75 pounds of dough. Other sweet treats will also be available. “Anything else the girls can come up with,” Jankowski said. “We have a busy week.”

Sullivan Bakery has made a few alterations to the building for added COVID-19 precautions; otherwise, they have remained open for their customers.

The Sullivan Bakery staff expect to be busy. Along with Doughnut Day, the city will host the community yard sales. “We just have to be very well prepared,” Jankowski said.

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Baker Andi Arnold works in the kitchen area to make the variety of doughnuts at Giggles in downtown Decatur. 

The staff at Giggles on Merchant Street are celebrating National Doughnut Day for three days. “The first year we did it one day and it was very overwhelming,” said Giggles owner Chrissy Spurlock. “Last year, due to COVID, we decided to do three days and do curb-side pickup, and it worked out so well.”

Giggles’ Doughnut Day cake doughnuts include lemon-blueberry, vanilla, and salted caramel chocolate. The kitchen does not have a fryer, which is used to make the typical doughnut. So the baker creates baked cake-like pastries.

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Baker Andi Arnold works in the kitchen area to make the variety of doughnuts at Giggles of Decatur. 

“People order those specific ones,” Spurlock said. “They’re the most delicious, I guess.”

This year marks the third year Giggles has partnered with the Salvation Army for National Doughnut Day.

The first Doughnut Day was celebrated in 1938 during the Great Depression, according to Salvation Army history. The event was created to raise funds for those in need. The agency began its mission 20 years earlier during World War I, by providing support for U.S. soldiers fighting in France. American women, called doughnut Lassies, fried up the doughnuts in the soldiers’ helmets and distributed the pastries, boosting morale among the troops.

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Morgan Huffman, social services director for the Salvation Army, rings the bell outside of Giggles as part of the group’s National Doughnut Day celebration. 

The focus of Doughnut Day has changed little since then. This year, a crew from the Salvation Army will be distributing the Giggles doughnuts to the Decatur Police Department, Macon County Sheriff’s Department, the Decatur Ambulance and the Decatur Fire Departments.

“It’s a great way to help our first responders to make sure that they know we care about them,” Spurlock said.

On Thursday, Morgan Huffman, social service director for Salvation Army, stood outside Giggles ringing a small bell alongside the Red Kettles, typically seen during the holiday season. “But it’s still the doughnuts,” she said about the celebration. “It’s like Christmas time.”

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Giggles owner Chrissy Spurlock, front, and baker Andi Arnold work in the kitchen area to make the variety of doughnuts at the downtown Decatur business. 

Katy Mize stopped by Giggles to pick up her boxes of doughnuts before returning to work at the Hickory Point Mall. She had placed her order days in advance.

“It’s a good cause,” she said. “And the cookies and goodies here are fantastic.”

Although she was only a few minutes late picking up her order, Mize knew her co-workers would be waiting for her return. “They’re like, ‘where are you at?’” she said.

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Contact Donnette Beckett at (217) 421-6983. Follow her on Twitter: @donnettebHR

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