Kiwanis Pancake Breakfasts are Free During Cheyenne Frontier Days
The famous pancake breakfasts started out in 1952 when the Frontier Days chairman wanted to reward visiting fans with a free breakfast. They started out with having two pancake breakfasts, Wednesday and Friday (opposite parade days).
The HEELS organization was the first sponsor, who also did the cooking and serving. The Kiwanis Club, along with the help of 4-H’ers took over in 1963. In 1968, the 4-H council decided not to participate anymore and the Boy and Girl Scouts filled the void.
Since they were serving thousands of people each year, they needed a way to cook pancakes fast. A member of the HEELS rescued a wrecked trailer house and made it into a griddle trailer that featured seven large gas—fired World War 1 army surplus griddles. They named the trailer “Big Red” and it has been used ever since (with a few updates through the years).
The free breakfasts started out with pancakes and coffee only, until the early 1960’s when the Wyoming Stock Growers Association agreed to furnish bacon. In 1969, the bacon was replaced with ham. When Cheyenne Frontier Days extended the length of the celebration in1971, they decided to add another pancake breakfast on Monday.
There are now three pancake breakfasts during Frontier Days, and the attendance has grown greatly. In the 1960’s, daily attendance was from 1,000—2,000 people. Now, daily attendance ranges from 9,500—12,000 people every day!
Don’t be fooled by the long line to get your free breakfast, the line moves quick thanks to the pancake “flippers” and the Boy and Girl Scouts that catch the flying pancakes! The free pancake breakfasts are served Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during Frontier Week from 7am—9am at the Depot Plaza.