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Popular Web site gives recognition to local tradition Pancake Day PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 March 2018 10:47


• Leader & Times

“England and its neighbors know the Tuesday before Lent as Pancake Day, a day to gorge on flapjacks. In America, that day in February is just Shrove Tuesday — except in one tiny Kansas town. In Liberal, locals celebrate just like they do across the pond, with so many pancakes. They stretch the festivities out over four days, starting on Saturday with flipping and eating contests and ending on Tuesday, with a race unlike one you’ve ever seen before.”

This begins a recent article from the popular delish.com Web site. The Pancake Day tradition between Liberal and Olney, England has been part of the Liberal community for 69 years and has been gaining recognition from many other parts of the world and recently, the annual tradition gained recognition from the site, and according to Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Sally Fuller, staff is thrilled with the recognition. 

“We were very excited,” Fuller said. “When Sarah told us they were thinking about coming here, she gave us a few links to other videos and pieces they had done, and they were very nice pieces and very well put together and we knew it would be great publicity for us. Then aside from the delish.com piece, we were also featured in Highlights magazine in either their January or February issue, and the Highlights people even did some interviews with some local children and had a whole two-page spread. So those are two very good pieces of great publicity for Pancake Day for this year and we love how Liberal is known for Pancake Day and that we get so much recognition. It’s such a positive thing.”

Fuller said she was contacted by Sarah Weinberg, author of the piece that went along with the video (which already has nearly one million hits) in December regarding doing the piece about this year’s Pancake Day festivities. 

“Sarah said they were considering us for this video series and asked if we would be agreeable to them coming and doing that project here and if we would help,” Fuller said. “So we said ‘You bet! Whatever we can do to help!’ and we’ve been in contact off and on since December. Then Brandon Bales, who was actually the one who came and did the videography, I got in contact with him about two weeks before and he and I visited back and forth and then he came and took the video.”

Bales then came in that Monday evening before Pancake Day and he was told about what would be going on during Pancake Day. Bales began his videography that day with the Pancake Day breakfast and interviewed a couple of the runners along with some  additional footage. Then he met with runners and Pancake Day staff at Faith Tabernacle Church for more interviews and he was also in the media truck during the race. 

“He said was really intense,” Fuller said with a chuckle. “After the race was over, he tried to do an interview with Gaby there at the finish line but the wind made that nearly impossible for him to get audio and then he got some video at the shriving service and video call and then stayed for just a bit of the parade. Then eventually he e-mailed me to let me know everything was ready and it was on the Web site.”

The video has already garnered several hits and has been shared and reshared throughout social media, which Fuller said she was pleased with.

“My daughter, who lives in Denver, called and told me ‘You’ve gone viral!’ and I wish we’d been able to get more people in it because there’s so many people with so many responsibilities, so I wish all of them had been able to be highlighted,” Fuller said. “And it’s great publicity. The last time I looked, it had nearly one million hits and it’s such a positive piece about something we’re so proud of.”

This year’s race, which saw Gaby Covarrubias winning the Liberal leg of the race as well as the International Pancake Day title, drew crowds from all corners of Liberal as well as a visit from Olney’s mayor Jeremy Rawlings and his daughter, Tamsin. With the Pancake Day festivities already having nearly 70 races under the belt between the two communities, the future of the festivities looks strong. 

“I don’t know if it will grow necessarily, but I hope it continues for many more years,” Fuller said. “2019 will be the race’s 70th year and I know we’re already wanting to line up special stuff for that like potentially bringing back the last chance race, talking to all the past BabyCakes winners, which we’ve been doing for 20 years now, things like that. I think the fact that Pancake Day got that recognition not just with the magazine but also the Web site, the fact that we got that type of recognition, it’s wonderful. I was so excited to help with those pieces and you can’t just come up with that type of publicity out of nowhere. There’s so many people who donate their time and effort to all the components of that day and if we didn’t have them, it would fold.”

The full delish.com piece regarding Pancake Day can be found at http://www.delish.com/food/videos/a58497/kansas-pancake-race-video/




About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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