Annual Miners Day breakfast goes through some changes
What: Miners Day Pancake Breakfast
Where: City Park
When: 7:30-9:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 2
Cost: Free, but donations will be accepted
Before the Bark City 5K fun run, the parade and mucking and drilling contest, Miners Day starts with a pancake breakfast in City Park served by St. Mary’s of the Assumption Catholic Church.
For years, the breakfast cost $5, and traditionally served as a fundraiser for the church’s religious education programs, said Father Christopher Gray.
“We’re going to do something different this year,” Gray said. “I would like to call it a free breakfast, because it’s a community event. And it would be fine if people want to make a donation.”
Those donations, Gray said, would benefit the church’s youth ministry.
Several hundred students register for these classes each year, according to Gray.
The classes are held Sundays in the afternoons and evenings, as well as Monday and Tuesday evenings.
“All the teachers are volunteers, and we do have so many wonderful instructors,” he said. “Tuition is very low, and many students are on scholarship. But the materials do cost money, so these donations will help make it work.”
Pancakes aren’t the only dish served, according to breakfast coordinator Kathy Ostler.
“We also serve scrambled eggs, ham and hash browns,” Ostler said. “The hash browns are my favorite. They have a little hot pepper in them and, oh, they are just amazing.”
Other morning-meal offerings include fruit, coffee, juice, hot chocolate and milk, she said.
It takes between 20 to 25 people to serve over 350 hungry Miners Day celebrators, Ostler said.
Volunteers, including Ostler’s family, wake up at 4:30 a.m., meet at the church to load a truck with cooking equipment and drive it to the park, she said.
“The food is delivered directly to the park and we disperse it to different teams,” Ostler said.
The grill is set up on two iron mining carts.
“We start a wood fire inside the carts and then we add charcoal briquettes,” she said.
Throughout the years, volunteers have cooked and served food in all kinds of September weather, said Ostler, who took over coordinating the breakfast from her husband, Kevin, 10 years ago.
“You know how Park City weather goes,” she said with a laugh. “You don’t know if it will be snowing or raining or sunny and hot, or all of those things together. It’s an adventure.”
One year, the weather hit winter conditions.
“It had been spitting rain all morning, and the temperature kept getting colder and colder,” she said. “Right after we put our last spoonful of eggs on a plate, it started to snow.”
Still, Ostler said everyone — including the volunteers — had a great time.
“There is something about watching everyone working as a team on this wonderful community event,” she said. “We have a lot of people who come together once a year to work on this event, and it’s fun to see them catch up with each other. Sometimes I’ll stand back and see everyone laughing and joking while everyone is getting fed.”
Father Gray first participated in the Miners Day breakfast last year.
“It’s very important to be a good citizen and to be a benefit to the community,” he said. “I was very proud to see this church had already been very well established in the community to do that.”
Gray said he hopes the change in the breakfast price will attract more people.
“I hope people will feel comfortable to come enjoy a wonderful breakfast,” he said. “I’ve been put in charge of brewing the coffee, so I hope people will stop by and say hello.”
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