The race in Liberal has only 15 spots available for competitors, but the whole day contains races inclusive to the whole community, like kid races, a shorter race for women over 50, and a men's race.
"We have a pacers' race, which is for the guys. The intention was, at the starting line, the guys would take the ladies coats and run the race a head of them so when the ladies did the race they would have their coats at the end," said Bird.
After the contest, the town gathers for a service at the First United Methodist Church put on by the community's ecumenical group, the Liberal Ministerial Alliance. Pancake Day then concludes with the awards ceremony, a video call with Olney to determine the victorious town, and a parade.
The competition is not only a financial benefit as a tourist attraction, but it is also a time for camaraderie and spiritual preparation. Pancake Chairman Mike Brack told CNA that it prepares the community for the Lenten sacrifice.
"It's a great way to celebrate the tradition of Pancake Day and the beginning of Lent – the importance of preparing for Lent," he said.
"It's a coming together of our community, that's what it was designed to do. The Lenten message of reminding of ourselves of the sacrifices that we have to make and doing that as a community…It's very significant," he further added.
Father Jacob Schneider, parochial vicar at St. Anthony of Padua parish, told CNA the event is an extension across Christian denominations and ethnic lines. He said the event is an ecumenical experience and a unification of the entire town, which, because of the county's factory work, includes large portions of immigrants and ethnicities.
"It does, even for the very least because of pancakes, bring people together, who normally would never cross paths. In that regards, it is a really communal activity," he said. "This is one of the few overreaching activities that has somehow transcended all the different cultures."