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Liberal Celebrates 73nd International Pancake Day

Joe Denoyer - February 1, 2022 11:18 am

LIBERAL-The International Pancake Day Race, a tradition between Olney, England and Liberal, KS will take place, March 1st, 2022. This year’s 73nd anniversary brings back all the favorite activities in a modified schedule. 

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.  And so it began.

The Liberal Recreation Department will kick off this year’s events, Saturday, February 26th, with the Pancake Chase 5k. The Grand Marshall’s Reception will be Monday, February 28th at the Baker Arts Center and will now be open to the public. All other events will be on International Pancake Day, March 1st. Another change to the line-up this year is the eating and flipping contests will be at the Seward County Event Center during the Pancake Breakfast.

All race sign ups (kids, mascot, men’s pacer, and women’s International race) begin February 7th at the Liberal Recreation Center, 950 S. Grant. Races are open til February 18th. There are limited spots per race, and are on a first come basis.

We are happy to be moving forward with the 73rd International Pancake Day, after canceling last year due to COVID”, said Board Chairman, Gary Classen. “International Pancake Day is a tradition that continues to bring joy to our community as well as a healthy competition with our friends across the pond in Olney, England”.


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