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Crowds celebrate Paczki Day at National Bakery on Fat Tuesday

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The early bird gets the paczki on Fat Tuesday. That was certainly the case for Judy Stachowiak, who drove all the way from Beaver Dam to wait outside National Bakery and Deli at 4:30 a.m on Paczki Day!

"They`re just exceptional, they really are. They know how to make them here," Stachowiak said.

Once the doors opened at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 12th, crowds rushed in to get their paczki. Although the line was out the door all morning, everyone was all smiles as the wait is part of the tradition.

"I don`t remember not doing it because it`s been around as long as I've been around and that`s a long time," National Bakery and Deli customer Marlene Witas said.

"We've been coming here for 30 years! We wouldn't miss it," another customer said.

Some planned ahead and pre-ordered their paczki, while others waited until the last minute.

"I freaked yesterday when I called and they said they weren't taking any more orders for paczki and I said I got to get here early. Then I overslept and I really freaked. I thought oh my gosh I`m not going to get any paczki on Fat Tuesday," National Bakery and Deli customer Candice Zielinski said.

National Bakery has all kinds of flavors of paczki from raisin, to raspberry, to powdered sugared, to glazed. However, the traditional butter prune was sold out by 8:30 in the morning.

Although the butter prune went first, everyone has their favorite.

"I always like raspberry. I like the idea of the fruit filling," National Bakery and Deli customer John Maher said.