LIBERAL-The International Pancake Day Race, a tradition in Olney, England for centuries and in Liberal, KS for the past 71 years has been postponed until 2022. This year’s 72nd anniversary will be commemorated with a social media campaign led by the Liberal Convention & Visitors Bureau on February 16, 2021.

In Olney, England, the Pancake Race tradition dates back nearly 600 years to 1445. A woman engrossed in using up cooking fats (forbidden during Lent) was making pancakes. Hearing the church bells ring calling everyone to the shriving service, she grabbed her head scarf (required in church) and ran 415 yards to the church, skillet and pancake in hand and still apron clad. In following years, neighbors got into the act and it became a race to see who could reach the church first and collect a “Kiss of Peace” from the verger (bell-ringer.) 

R.J. Leete, Liberal Jaycee President, saw a magazine picture of the Olney women racing each other to the church. He contacted the Rev. Ronald Collins, Vicar of St. Peter and St. Paul’s church in Olney, challenging their women to race against women of Liberal.  

Although the pancake breakfast, traditional flipping and eating contest and the parade are canceled for 2021, the elementary schools inter-school flipping contests will be held. The Liberal Recreation Department will host the Pancake Chase, a 5K and 10K outdoor run, as scheduled on Saturday, February 13.

We would like for you to help us honor our tradition by showing Liberal your love of pancakes on February 16, 2021” said Mike Brack, longtime Liberal board member and past chairman of the event. You are encouraged to celebrate International Pancake Day by posting your photos and videos to social media. Be sure to use #pancakeday2021 and #tothestarsks.

  • Have a family pancake race in your house or yard
  • Eat pancakes at a local diner
  • Practice your pancake flipping skills
  • Have a pancake stacking contest
  • Use the Facebook profile picture frame created for International Pancake Day