HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Van Sorrels is blunt about his favorite part each April 14 or 15, depending on the year.
"I like to see if I can swim," he said.
For the past three years, the Hannibal resident has attended LaBinnah Bistro's Last Dinner on the Titanic event, where the Hannibal restaurant re-creates the final meal served April 14, 1912, on the doomed ship. This year's dinner was held Sunday.
As much as Sorrels enjoys the five-course meal served to him and other patrons during the annual event, he also enjoys receiving a boarding pass with the name of a real Titanic passenger and learning at the end of the meal if his person survived or perished while waiting for the Carpathia to rescue Titanic passengers stranded in the frigid Atlantic Ocean water.
"It's a fun event, it's got great people at it, and it supports a local business," Sorrels said of why he returns each year. "I plan to make this a tradition."
He's not alone in doing so.
Since LaBinnah Bistro started the first "Last Dinner on the Titanic" in 2012, reservations go quickly, and each year, co-owners Arif Dagin and Chris Bobek must tell people eager to attend the dinner that the restaurant is full for the evening. The event attracts not only local residents but people from various communities and states, including St. Louis, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, Dagin said.
"We hold this dinner each April to remember and honor the crew and passengers aboard the Titanic," Dagin added. "We only planned to have this dinner on the 100th anniversary of that final supper, but customers really enjoyed it and requested it for the next year."
While the first course is being served, Molly Brown -- a Hannibal native and famous passenger on the Titanic -- mingles with guests and shares details about her life and time aboard the ship. She is portrayed each year by local historian Lisa Marks.
"It's always well-done each year, and (restaurant) staff put a lot of effort into making it a fun and memorable experience," attendee Gary Luck of Hannibal said.
Added Clay Baldwin, also of Hannibal: "The meals vary each year, and each time, they're fantastic."
On the menu Sunday was an entree of filet mignons lili and a dessert of Waldorf pudding. A 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. seating were held to accommodate all of the people interested in attending the dinner.