Virtual Pancake Day takes place today

Add your memories—new or old—to the online celebration


Crusader File Photo

Pancake Day has been a Liberal tradition for more than 70 years. It was canceled and moved to an online event this year due to COVID-19 protocols and the severe cold weather blanketing the area. As part of the virtual celebration, share your memories of Pancake Day and make new ones in your home. (File photo)

Waking up to the smell of pancakes sure is delicious. In Liberal there is a whole day dedicated to it. Pancake Day is celebrated every year on the day before lent officially begins. This year, however, you’ll have to celebrate it on your own. 

Traditionally, local clubs help make and serve pancakes at the Seward County activities building. This year, celebrate pancake day at home with your own creations. (File photo) (Crusader File Photo)

With COVID-19 restrictions and the arctic vortex temperatures, the annual event was canceled. Or maybe more aptly put, it morphed into a virtual celebration and a trip down memory lane. On the official Pancake Day facebook page, board members requested for others to send in pictures of their at home celebrations to honor the tradition. 

The local celebration began in 1950 and is a day filled with fun activities like races, parades, food and no school.

Typically on Pancake Day mornings, towns members gather to enjoy a delicious breakfast of, you guessed it — pancakes. The gathering usually takes place in the Seward County Activity Center. 

“It is an important tradition as it is the day a lot of our community comes together,” Edma Landa, political science major, said. 

The big attraction is the annual pancake race. 

This race is part of a 70-year competition with Olney, England. In the race, women of both towns run 415 yards to the finish line with a skillet and pancakes in hand. The first to the finish line is declared the pancake race winner. Last year, Seward County Community College student Whitney Hay won the international competition.

The races aren’t just for women. Men, children and business mascots participate in the annual races.

While the races on Pancake Day have been canceled, the 5K is still on. It was moved to March 20. You may sign up at the Liberal Recreation Center.

Pancake Day races are always a family affair. Even though the annual Pancake Day has gone virtual, these races have be postponed. But the 5K has been postponed until March 22. You can sign up at Liberal Recreation. (Crusader File Photo)

Schools also join the celebration by participating in the pancake flipping competition. It is a competition between students and classes to determine which school can flip the most pancakes. 

In year’s past, children flip pancakes as part of Liberal’s annual celebration. (File Photo) (Crusader File Photo)

“I remember competing in the pancake flipping contest when I was in intermediate school, it was so much fun,” Anahi Navarette, pre-veterinary major, said. 

Unfortunately that is the only celebration being done this year for pancake day. Due to the pandemic and cold weather this year’s pancake day celebration will be canceled. Something a few Liberal locals are bummed about. 

According to Landa, she is upset the celebration is canceled but feels relieved she won’t have to help clean on such a cold day.

Share your Pancake Day memories — new and old — on social media using these hashtags: #pancakeday2021 #ToTheStarsKS

—This article was updated on Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m.