Pancakes before Parades: Finally the Fourth!

“I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states. Yet through all the gloom I see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth all the means. This is our day of deliverance.”

—John Adams, on signing the Declaration of Independence,
July 1776

By Dawne Belloise

Independence Day. No town on earth celebrates as well as Crested Butte with all its anticipated festivities. The Fourth of July conjures up a variety of memories and celebration for all who choose to participate in its traditions or create their own annual shindig.

Just before he signed the Declaration in 1776, John Adams had a firm grasp on the future of the holiday when he wrote, “It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

Let’s not forget why it’s a party. It’s the day the Declaration of Independence was approved by Congress. (Independence was declared on July 2, 1776.) We’re free. And we party. And we love parades, barbecues and potlucks, lots of pancakes, laughing dogs and giggling kids, tank tops and flip flops weather, water fights and sparklers, friends and family returning home and the grand finale of fish and whistles and 36-inch shells of variegated chrysanthemums exploding into bouquets of titillating color in the night sky overhead. Yes, John Adams, you got that right.

What better way to kick off the shindig than with an all-American Crested Butte tradition: PANCAKES! July 4th morn from 7 to 10:30 a.m., will ring in the 45th annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast sponsored by the Crested Butte Fire & EMS Squad at 306 Maroon Avenue, above the Fire Station. Pancakes will be flipping, sausage will be hungrily scarfed and this year, by special request, there’ll be toppings like berries, whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles for the pancakes.

If you’re not running in the Gothic/Crested Butte 1/3 Marathon it’s advisable to get there early because the breakfast gets packed with post-race participants.

Last year the crew served up those flapjacks to 1,200 people—that’s probably more than 2,400 pancakes (who can eat just one?). Just to give an idea of how much food and preparation goes into this breakfast event, more than 50 local businesses donate either money or food to the Crested Butte Fire & EMS Volunteer Squad to feed the multitudes—and that takes 4,000 sausages, 200 pounds of pancake batter, 40 pounds of butter, 24 gallons of syrup, 25 pounds of coffee, 16 gallons of milk and 12 quarts of half and half—it’s a recipe for community love.

Every child dreams of the fire truck rides that will take place, and the crew will be selling t-shirts, hoodies and drink cozies, too. The event is a fundraiser for the local squad that funds various causes and projects. The most notable is probably the Fallen Firefighter Fund, which helps support the current crewmembers in case of financial emergencies. They also donate the money to local people who need some financial assistance.

Crested Butte Fire & EMS Squad volunteers meet four times a year just to discuss the pancake breakfast and decide who gets the proceeds. Much of it stays in the coffers for the Fallen Firefighter Fund, but a lot of it goes back into the community. So load up the carbs and get a good head start on the rest of what will be a fun-filled active day that begins with pancakes in town, includes a parade and ends with music and fireworks on the mountain.

You can buy tickets for the Pancake Breakfast in advance, for $10 for adults and $7 for kids under 12. If you’re starving and want to get front of the line, you have the option of purchasing VIP priority. Find more information and buy tickets on the Facebook page Crested Butte Fire & EMS Squad; also

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