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Western Street Breakfast celebrates 75 years, the history behind it

Posted at 7:29 AM, Jun 20, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Springs Western Street Breakfast is celebrating 75 years this year, a fun start to the rodeo season in the Pikes Peak region. Great food, western entertainment, a dress-up contest, and the grand procession of the Pikes Peak Range Riders as they parade out of town on horseback. So much history goes behind these cherished traditions.

You can watch coverage of the the Range Riders heading out from the 2023 Western Street Breakfast below:

Pikes Peak Range Riders head out, 2023 Western Breakfast

The Historical Western Street Breakfast began in 1936 when 35 people gathered around an old chuckwagon for their breakfast. This year more than 10-thousand people will pack the streets of downtown Colorado Springs to celebrate the rich history of the Western lifestyle that the Pikes Peak area was founded on.

"I came in the United States Army in 1967 just in time for the Vietnam War."
Ted Severn

In the early 1990s Ted Severn was named Garrison Commander at Fort Carson and given a new assignment with little knowledge of its background.

"They said, 'Ted one of the things you're responsible for assisting with from the army perspective is the Pike Peak or Bust rodeo,' and then I became aware of the Range Riders in the street breakfast and then became involved in all that I learned very quickly about the western heritage of Colorado Springs," said Severn.

Before it was founded, Colorado Springs was part of the American frontier. The Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho were among the first to live in the area. They drank from Manitou Springs and took shelter in the Garden of the Gods.

It was in the 1890s when a gold rush hit after being discovered on America's Mountain. Colorado Springs soon became one of the most-visited destinations in the country. With that, came events like the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo and its Western Street Breakfast

The rodeo started in 1933 and stopped during World War II. It began again around 1946 and gained steam in 1949. The Street Breakfast was brought in to make the event bigger. Each year, money from the breakfast and rodeo goes to the local military and their families.

Fort Carson and the Air Force continue to dedicate their time to preparing and serving at the Western Street Breakfast, just as Colonel Severn did. He also happens to be a Pikes Peak Range Rider, another tradition that continues as they take off that morning. The Girl of the West, an iconic ambassador to the rodeo also remains a part of the day.

The western street breakfast is June 21 from 5:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.
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