First, a little perspective on our Community Pancake Breakfast.
The event has been steadily growing over the past few several years and has turned into a popular local event and kick off to the summer fly-in season. Last year (2015), we had a tremendous crowd despite marginal flying weather and served a record breaking 502 people.
This year, we knew the weather was going to be perfect, plus we had great publicity in the weeks beforehand. The Green County Veterans’ Huey was confirmed, MedFlight was confirmed, we had good advance registration for Young Eagles, the two original aircraft from Bill’s Air Park were confirmed and the Kelch Aviation Museum display would be big. We had a long radio interview a few days before and good local newspaper coverage. Fliers went out to all airports in a 100 mile radius. We were braced for a record crowd once again and bought enough food for 750 people. With all the prep work, we figured we would be in good shape for the day.
Then the figurative flood gates opened.
Airplanes were landing at 6:30 a.m., 30 minutes before we opened. By 7:30, our usual aircraft parking area was overflowing and a few of our Aviation Explorer Scouts were pressed into emergency parking duty. By 9:00 a.m., it was clear we wouldn’t have enough food. The folks at EAA Chapter 22 at Cottonwood Airport flew in food supplies leftover from their pancake breakfast the previous week. (Try getting frozen sausage delivered by air anywhere else!) By 9:30, the line for food stretched to the parking lot gate. We kept the line moving steadily and for the most part, we handled the massive crowd, but it was clear we had entered a new era in pancake breakfasts.
The final tally…872 people served.
Of course, we had our celebration of the 70th anniversary of Brodhead Airport as well, with a Taylorcraft BC-12D and an Ercoupe 415-C on hand that were both sold new on the airport in 1946 by Bill Earleywine. Many from the Earleywine family were on hand to reminisce Bill’s Air Park, the original name for Brodhead Airport.
So, a big thank you goes out to all who came out to our big event, especially those who waited in the long food line. We are already planning how to make next year better. Thanks also to the UW MedFlight crew, Green County Veterans Memorial Park, Todd Arnsmeier Trucking, Darren Spiegel, and all of the Chapter 431 volunteers!