When election day rolls around, Tompkins County residents get to vote for plain pancakes or blueberry pancakes at the annual Rotary Clubs election day pancake breakfast. The 44th annual pancake breakfast will be at Coltivare, on South Cayuga Street, tomorrow.
It’s an opportunity for a good breakfast, and to hobnob with a veritable who’s-who of Ithaca and Tompkins County, including lots of political and business folks. Plain and blueberry pancakes, eggs, corned beef hash, hash browns, sausage, applesauce, juice, and coffee will be available from 7am until 7pm, cooked and served up by Rotarians and local politicians, as well as TC3 students this year.
You might find the mayor or a county representative pouring your coffee or clearing your plate, and don’t be surprised if a police officer, business owner, or assemblyman is serving the eggs.
The Rotary Clubs use the event to raise funds for their student exchange program, bringing international students to our local high schools, and sending some of our own students to other countries. Lots of these students help throughout the day, so you may also have a chance to practice your high school Spanish, or even your Swedish.
This year’s Pancake Day is being held in honor of the late David Barr, who passed away this August after more than 30 years serving as a Rotarian. The third-generation Ithacan served in the Navy before joining his father in the family investment firm. He helped create the local “peewee hockey” program as well as a booster club for Cornell’s hockey team.
For many years, the Election Day pancake breakfast was held at the Women’s Community Building in Downtown Ithaca. The event moved a few blocks west to the VFW in 2012 when the Women’s Community Building was demolished to make way for a residential development.
The current venue, Coltivare, is a “farm to bistro” collaboration of TC3’s culinary arts, beverage marketing, and farm education programs. It’s a professionally operated restaurant and events center focusing on locally grown food and locally produced beverages, as well as a teaching facility. Coltivare also hosts the Rotary Club of Ithaca’s weekly Wednesday noon luncheon meetings. Everyone is welcome to attend to learn more about Rotary; the luncheon cost is $15 at the door.
The pancake breakfast costs $9 this year, payable at the door, or tickets are available from Rotary members. Children under 12 eat for free. Discounted parking is available in the Cayuga Street parking garage; bring your parking ticket to the event for validation. Coltivare is at 235 South Cayuga Street in Downtown Ithaca across from the Hotel Ithaca.