Flapjack Day, a Labor Day tradition in Berthoud dating back to the 1940s, returned after taking two years off for COVID-19.
The event featured live music, a classic car show, a pancake eating contest, breakfast beer flights and 2,000 free flapjacks. Held at City Star Brewing, the line for pancakes stretched around the block, with visitors passing the time by admiring classic Camaros, El Caminos and Cadillacs.
Flapjack Day began in 1948, and continued until 1958, when the event was cancelled due to the expense of hosting it. It remained that way until 2015, when Ian Phillips, who was working at City Star Brewing, noticed a photo in the brewery that depicted the old festival.
“I started doing some research about what Flapjack Day was and it seemed like it was just such an amazing small town, Americana event,” Phillips, who has continued to serve as master of ceremonies, said. “The more research I did the more I was like ‘This is something we should bring back.’”
In 2020, towards the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, growlers filled with pancake batter and flights of beers were for sale, but the event was not held in person. The following year, there were no festivities at all.
“In 2021, it was dead,” said Diane Levy, a director with the Berthoud Historical Society and the ‘Batter Queen’ of the event. “We didn’t do any of that stuff either. That’s why today is a real resurgence, we’ve really been dormant for a full two years. This is showing that people want to come back.”
Levy makes the flapjack batter from scratch using her own recipe.
“We’re going to cook until our batter’s gone,” she said. “Many years we never get to the 2,000th pancake. This year we’re pretty confident we will.”
A core part of the event is the “Flapjack Queen Contest,” a competition to see which participant can eat five pancakes the fastest. Lynsey Morgan of Berthoud won on Monday with a time of 1:14, just as she has done for the past five Flapjack Days.
She said that her family has pancakes every Sunday, making for good practice, although they don’t usually eat them as quickly as she did on Monday.
“I think having young kids is also a great teacher because they make it hard to have a hot meal unless you’re eating quickly,” she said.
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