COLORADO SPRINGS — The Western Street Breakfast returns to Colorado Springs, a way to celebrate our local western history, kicked off at 5 a.m. this morning.
Be aware of continuing road closures until mid-day in downtown Colorado Springs. Pikes Peak Avenue from Cascade to Weber is closed, along with N .Tejon from Kiowa to Colorado Ave.
The historical street breakfast has been taking place in the community for more than 80 years, but last year, the event was canceled for the first time since World War II.
"We made our motto this year, flapjacks and fun in 2021," said Kevin Kaveney, co-chair of the event.
The first breakfast took place in 1936 outside of Joe Reich's Swiss Chalet wagon, where about 35 people got together for a meal.
"It originally started as a group of cowboys and cowgirls that helped volunteer for the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, an event that started right around the block" said Kaveney, who is also a Pikes Peak
Range Rider and sits on the board for the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. "It's now a destination event for people to celebrate western heritage.
The event grew year after year and in 1949, the Pikes Peak Range Riders began their first five-day ride at the street breakfast. The statue on the corner of Pikes Peak Ave. and Cascade is an iconic representation of the founding members of the range riders.
This year will be the 73rd ride passing the statue, where nearly 150 range riders will promote western heritage and celebrate the kickoff for the 80th Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, happening in July.
The range riders will leave town around 8 a.m., and ride around the south side of Pikes Peak.
"We ride by it every year, and we tip our hats and say thanks for starting this," said Brett Axton, an MC for the event, who's also a range rider.
Axton also grew up going to the street breakfast. "This has grown a lot and it's morphed. But as a native, we always came down to the street breakfast, and it's so fun to watch the kids come down that have not been around livestock, and they get to pet the horses and they get to talk to the cowboys," said Axton. "Being a part of the heritage is something special."
Sertoma began organizing the street breakfast in 1960, which they did for more than 50 years. Then in 2016, the Pikes Peak Range Riders took over. The annual fundraising event supports local military and their families.
Breakfast today costs $5, but when it all began, a plate of food cost $1.
"One of my favorite historical vignettes about the street breakfast and it has been told to me that in the old days, they would mix the pancake batter in a cement mixer, because there was so much pancake batter," said Kaveney.
Fort Carson volunteers have been cooking and serving breakfast for more than 40 years. Breakfast will start being served at 5:30 a.m.
Nowadays, the event sees up to 10,000 people. Organizers have 1,000 pounds of pancake batter, 1,500 pounds of eggs, 80 gallons of syrup, 500 gallons of coffee, 7,500 pints of milk, 2,500 pints of juice and 1,100 bales of straw for guests to sit and enjoy their meal.
For more information about the event, click here.