Fruitcake will be in the air Saturday in Manitou Springs, but on a much smaller scale than in years past.

The Great Fruitcake Toss event that has become a town staple is still canceled, and the cannons and pneumatic fruitcake guns will not be in action.

End of a tradition: Manitou Springs fruitcake toss canceled

However, Cool Science, a Colorado Springs nonprofit that encourages kids to engage in hands-on scientific activities, announced Thursday that they will hold the first-ever Mini Fruitcake Toss.

"We wanted to continue the fruitcake toss," Executive Director Marc Straub said. "We didn't want it to end. We're hoping to inspire the next generation of fruitcake-flinger engineers with our event,"

Great Fruitcake Toss organizers announced Dec. 26 that the 2014 event scheduled for Saturday would not be held. They cited several factors and said "lack of sponsors and the unpredictability of the weather have decreased attendance." The event began in 1996 and this year's event would have been the 19th consecutive one.

The Mini Fruitcake Toss will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at 515 Manitou Ave. Cool Science said the event will be "kids-oriented" and will include a scientific workshop on building mini catapults.

Each participant will receive a catapult kit and a "tiny fruitcake" for launching or eating. Advance registration is recommended at so Cool Science will have enough kits available.

Straub said his organization was inspired after the cancellation when social media outlets became bombarded with people complaining that the Great Fruitcake Toss would not take place. He said if people show up thinking the big event is still on, Cool Science will encourage them to help out at the workshop.

Cool Science has offered a catapult workshop the same weekend as the Great Fruitcake Toss the last four years. But instead of fruitcake, kids were launching marshmallows with their catapults.

"One year, we made over 250 of those little catapults," Straub said.