COLORADO SPRINGS — The Western Street Breakfast is one of the most iconic Colorado Springs celebrations in history and people were happy to be back this year to join in or the fun. From 5-dollar kids' breakfast, a kid's western dress-up contest, and country music to the Range Riders departing on horseback, there’s so much to do and see at the event. For over 50 years, the breakfast has been made possible by volunteers.
The Range Ride began in 1949 as an experiment by people who were involved heavily in the rodeo and believed they needed to attract more attention to the rodeo. They decided having someone ride around the Peak, known as the “around the Peak ride,” would do just that.
So, in 1949, 38 riders left the Broadmoor Hotel and did just that. They ended up in Woodland Park and it was so successful that in September they established the Pikes Peak Range Riders who live on to this day.
The street breakfast began in 1950. In the mid 50’s army cooks got involved because at that time it was decided that the proceeds from the Rodeo would be donated to Fort Carson’s Moral and Welfare fund. It then expanded Peterson Airforce Base and the Airforce Academy from there.
“It feels really good. People are wanting to get out and participate in some outdoor activity. So when you look it, the Range Riders took this particular breakfast over in 2016, and it’s been interesting to watch the crowds grow since that time. They’ve gone from initially 2-3,000 here in the center of town to the last time we did it in 2019, 8-10,000 people,” said Ted Severn, Military Liasion for the Range Riders.
“And then we absolutely see some gorgeous scenery that we ride through for the next 5 days and it could range from prairies hiking mountains. So it is just fun to get together and we know its all in preparation for the rodeo. And as we know the rodeo is considered charity but to the military it’s considered donations not charity.”
To this day, it’s done because the Range Riders have a heart for the community. When you look at what their mission statement is, it is really support of the rodeo first, Pikes Peak Rodeo, secondly, it’s western heritage, thirdly it’s the foundation, Pikes Peak Range Rider Foundation, which is charity work. It has to do with 4-H programs, rodeo programs, wounded warrior programs and more.