Memorial Day weekend in Burlington wouldn’t be the same without pancakes freshly made in Burlington Port.
Regarded as one of the largest community events hosted by Burlington’s largest service organization, the annual Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast fundraiser will take place from 6:30 AM to 10:30 AM Saturday at the Port.
An alternative flood site is the Burlington High School cafeteria, however the lack of parking due to construction, as well as the lack of flooding, is a problem the breakfast organizers are facing this year.
To address this issue, the city of Burlington is providing a free shuttle service every 10 minutes from 6 a.m. to noon that will pick up and drop off passengers along a set route, according to George Rinker, former Kiwanee president and chairman of breakfast. covers Jefferson, North Third, Washington, North Front, Valley, and North Fifth streets.
The breakfast stop will be at the north parking lot of Memorial Auditorium.
After a short walk to the port, people will find fantastic food prepared by 150 volunteers and may just meet friends they haven’t seen since the last breakfast.
The pancakes always come with a special recipe sausage provided by Hy-Vee, and both sank into about 27 crates of McDonald’s syrup during the morning.
When breakfast is over, they will use up 650 pounds of pancake mix and 1,000 pounds of sausage.
The sausage is “whole pork”, which means that the product is made from fresh or frozen muscle meat of pigs in proportions that are normal for one animal, and must not contain more than 50% fat and more than 3% water.
Breakfast coincides with the Snake Alley Criterium this year after a two-year hiatus due to COVID, and many race spectators will make this their first stop of the day.
Thousands watch the famous bike race, but Pancake Breakfast has its own dedicated fans, whose donations help the more than 20 local organizations and charities the club supports each year.
The pancake breakfast, a tradition dating back to 1989, typically includes around 3,000 items and raises more than $30,000 in donations to local programs. The menu includes pancakes, sausage and a drink.
Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door for adults, $3 for children under 13, and $4 for children 13 and older; tickets can be purchased at Burlington Fareway and Hy-Vee stores, from any Kiwanis member, or at the door.
Breakfast is Kiwanis Club’s largest fundraiser for local children’s programs and scholarships, with much help from the area.
“We have 15 product sponsors and 56 financial sponsors,” Rinker said.
In 2021, Kiwanis donated $66,000 to 20 local charities that aim to improve the lives of children in the community.
Kiwanis fundraisers also include the Santa Project and Shamrock Shuffle, however in 2023 the Burlington Police Department is organizing the Shamrock Shuffle while raising funds for their K-9 program.
Kiwanis provides Coats for Kids programs, ringing bells, a thesaurus and dictionaries as service projects, and raises funds for West Burlington Southeastern Community College scholarships.
They have small children first.
As part of this, the club hosts Christmas in July, a fun night for local kids to attend a Burlington Bees baseball game, where Santa is known to arrive in a Harley or even a convertible; and Kiwanis Kid’s Christmas, where children can choose and receive toys at Target.
Kiwanis has socializing events such as Family Picnic, Bees Night Out, Feather Bingo Party and Kiwanis Fun Night.
Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast was created in 1989 when President Steve Stabell appointed Jerry Courtney to lead a major fundraising effort for projects and to bring Kiwanis together outside the routine of meetings to work on a common project.
The Pancake Breakfast, now held every Memorial Day weekend at the Port of Burlington in conjunction with the nationwide Snake Alley Criterium cycling race, has generated exceptional returns by helping local children.
Key sponsors include Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center, Hy-Vee, McDonalds, Subway, Deery Brothers, Pepsi Refreshment Services, Prairie Farms Dairy Farm, and many more.
For more information visit burlingtonkiwanis.com
Hawk Eye correspondent Bob Saar contributed to this report.