Clear Lake residents will have plenty of chances for wining and dining on Harvest Fest, Oct. 5, but the fun doesn’t need to stop with just one day, as the Clear Lake Fire Department opens its doors for the annual pancake breakfast and open house the following morning on Sunday, Oct. 6.
It’s the best place in north Iowa to get a stack of pancakes as firefighters take to the griddle with their “secret recipe.”
Chief Doug Meyers wasn’t about to divulge the “secret” blend of ingredients that drew some 1,200 hungry breakfast-goers last year, but he does invite all to come and taste for themselves.
“It’s something that we found about 15 years ago, and then we’ve just added a little more into the mix and give it a little more flavor,” says the chief.
Serving starts at 7 a.m. and continues until noon on Sunday, Oct. 6, at the fire department. Tickets are $5 per person (12 and under eat free when accompanied by a parent) and are available at the door or in advance from fire department members.
As always, the breakfast menu will also include sausage, orange juice and coffee.
And while the food is always great, the open house is also an important opportunity to let community members know more about the department. Funds raised support fire prevention and education efforts.
After breakfast, visitors are invited to tour the Fire Museum and sit awhile outside where the 9/11 Steel Memorial stands in tribute to the fallen.
The twisted piece of steel from the World Trade Center was brought to Clear Lake by local firefighters in an effort to ensure that the heroes of that day are long remembered across the entire nation.
“Having that steel distributed throughout the country is so important,” Meyers says.
Surrounded by a small water feature, visitors are welcome — and even encouraged — to touch the steel that held the place where so many died.
“That was part of the Port Authority’s requirement: people have to be able to physically touch it,” Myers explains.
One only has to touch that sacred steel for a moment to know the wisdom of that requirement.
“It really brings forth the significance of that event,” Meyers concludes. “To have an artifact from it here is really neat.”
Clear Lake Fire Department Annual Pancake Breakfast
Sunday, Oct. 6 – 7 a.m. – noon
711 Second Ave. North