Let’s be clear: pancakes are always a good idea.

The stalwart pancake squad.

But when they come on the heels of two years of unimaginable turbulence, fear, loss and endless cancellations of Mill Valley’s landmark events, oh boy are we ready for the return of the Mill Valley Volunteer Firefighters Association’s Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, May 30.

“It’s one of the big social events of our city, and it’ll be one of the first major events we’ve had in two years,” says Rich Reichl, who heads up the volunteer firefighters’ association. ”It’s time to blow the dust off.”

Twenty-eight years ago, the association launched its annual Pancake Breakfast when John Thompson, Fred Martin, John McClure and Bob Hughes, among others, cobbled together a bunch of portable grills, coolers and propane tanks and prepared to serve up a Memorial Day breakfast for a few hundred people.

And then 800 showed up. And hundreds more showed every year after that, with volunteers serving up some 1,500 to 2,000 plates and lines forming around the block outside the Mill Valley Fire Department’s downtown station on Corte Madera Avenue. The massive event is set for 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on traffic-free Corte Madera Ave. in front of City Hall and outside the fire station with pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice and coffee.

Not surprisingly, organizers are preparing to add more tables to the event to decrease the density of the event and provide a degree of comfort as the BA.2 variant loooms.

The Pancake Breakfast is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Mill Valley’s volunteer firefighter program. The Mill Valley Fire Department took shape more than 120 years ago as an all-volunteer organization, beating out some fires with wet potato sacks and renting space to store its gear. The approximately $10,000 to $15,000 the event raises each year helps to association continue to develop that volunteer pool which, in turn, creates a candidate pool for the hiring needs for Mill Valley and departments all over Marin and the Bay Area. The event also generates revenue to support training and equipment needs, according to Mill Valley Fire Department officials.

“We’re preparing for a bumper turnout,” Reichl says.

More details coming soon, but it’s looking to be a full-blown return for Mill Valley’s trifecta Memorial Day weekend with the Pancake Breakfast, Memorial Day Parade (get your applications in here!), Kiddo! Carnival and much more…

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