PLAIN TWP.  Employees of the Mary Ann Donuts on Hills and Dales Road said that area residents were ready for some football and some free football shaped crème sticks on Sept. 17. The location had already given out more than 400 doughnuts by 11 a.m.

The free football shaped doughnut was part of the local company’s way of kicking off 100 years of football. The National Football League (NFL) was formed in Canton on Sept. 17, 1920.

Joe Dale, manager at the Hills and Dales Road shop, said they only had 100 doughnuts left to finish out the day.

"I believe that across all the locations, there were close to 1,500 doughnuts ready to be handed out," Dale said.

Mardie Sick, one of the people running the counter, added, "We’ve been busy, busy, busy this morning, people have been coming in and asking for the doughnut."

Employees at each location were allowed to wear their favorite football jersey to work. While Sick had a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey on, she said she was happy to see the Cleveland Browns win the night before on Monday Night Football.

"It’s been a lot of fun this morning and it’s hard to believe that football in Canton is turning 100," Sick said.

The yearlong celebration leading up to the 100th anniversary on Sept. 17, 2020, promises to be a celebratory year in the Pro Football Hall of Fame City.

According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame website, "The Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Canton community are preparing to celebrate the National Football League’s actual 100th birthday one year from today. A once-in-every-other-lifetime extravaganza, that is following the NFL’s year-long celebration of the 100th season in 2019, is planned for Sept. 16-20, 2020. The celebration is expected to feature reunions of NFL Legends, performances by mega performers from the music world and a special Centennial Class Enshrinement will take place to commemorate the NFL’s founding in downtown Canton on Sept. 17, 1920, and to also kick off the league’s next century."

Mary Ann Donuts is keeping up with the NFL. The company has been serving Stark County for more than 70 years, starting in 1947 with one story on McKinley Avenue in Canton. The company has become a favorite place for doughnuts and a tradition for many. The company has grown to include a 7,000 square foot corporate office and production facility and seven stores throughout the county.