The 100-year-old tradition of the Calgary Stampede pancake breakfast is getting a special salute to kick off the 56th Annual Cochrane Lions Labour Day Weekend Rodeo.

The Stockmen’s Memorial Foundation has teamed up with the Lions to offer a free family flapjack breakfast extravaganza from 8 to 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 1 in the parking lot of the Cochrane Lions Event Centre on 5th Ave.

"Seeing the Stockmans likes to commemorate the builders of the livestock industry, it was a way for us to combine a bit of history with a pancake breakfast and also to help launch the rodeo weekend," says Stockmen's executive director Scott Grattridge.

"It will also highlight our book collection that's going to be available kind of farther afield through the Cochrane Public Library. So we're doing a bunch of things, all trying to cram them into one big pancake breakfast."

The recently released children's book Flip Flop Flapjack will be in the spotlight. Author Brenda Joyce Leahy will be giving two readings and signing books. She'll be accompanied by book illustrator Melissa Bruglemans-LaBelle, who will be providing some lessons on how she did some of the drawings. The pair will be available for book signings.

Flip Flop Flapjack

The book tells the story of the colourful cowboy, Jack Morton, who is credited with starting the first Stampede pancake breakfast.

"He is, among other things, credited with creating the First Stampede breakfast by roping a griddle as he was going down the street in Calgary, and kind of borrowing it for a week, cooking up pancakes, and then returning it," explains Scott Grattidge, executive director of the Stockmen’s Memorial Foundation. "So this book tells a bit about him and the colorful character he was."

There'll also be live music by The Tumbleweeds, a chance to try your hand at roping, and you can brand a board at the Stockmen's branding station.

"It should be a good, good time and there might even be the odd surprise as well," says Grattidge.

The event will also raise awareness of the Stockmen's new partnership with the Cochrane Public Library and the Marigold Library System. It is allowing greater access to Stockmen's extensive and unique library of Western Canadian history books.

"There will be a few other things going on and everyone is invited to come down, get their hat out, clean off the boots, and get ready for a great rodeo weekend in Cochrane."

Grattidge says the financial support of both the Town of Cochrane and Rocky View County is much appreciated.

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