Story and photos by Samantha B. Koss
Special to the Mountaineer
About 100 Fort Carson Soldiers cooked more than 1,000 pounds of pancake batter and 1,500 pounds of eggs at the 52nd Annual Colorado Springs Street Breakfast June 20 to show their appreciation for the community’s continuous support of the military.
“On behalf of all of us at Fort Carson, we just want to say thanks for what you do in support of us,” said Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson. “The event this morning is one way we try to give back … thank you for being the great neighbors that you are.”
Prepared to cook 10,000 meals, the Soldiers fed more than 7,000 cowboys and cowgirls who attended this western tradition on Tejon Street.
The street breakfast affords Fort Carson the opportunity to interact with the community, and each dollar made from the event goes to local military charities.
“This is a tremendous event … we have two communities coming together to show their appreciation of one another,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Stall, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson.
The breakfast featured live Western entertainment while Soldiers served thousands of community members. Fort Carson has supported this tradition for decades.
The first street breakfast was held in 1936 to promote the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. Since then, the street breakfast has kicked off the rodeo events beginning with the Pikes Peak Range Ride. The Range Riders travel on horseback from the street breakfast for a five-day ride to Bear Basin Ranch in Westcliffe.
The 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard led about 160 Range Riders in a parade down Pikes Peak Avenue during the breakfast. Wearing the traditional 1874 Army enlisted cavalry uniforms, the color guard carried the national flag. Anderson followed on horseback wearing the traditional 1872 general officer cavalry uniform. Stall rode on the 1878 Army escort wagon pulled by mules while dressed in the 1874 enlisted cavalry uniform.
“We are keeping the tradition from head to toe with what the cavalry would have looked like in the 1870s and 1880s,” said Master Sgt. Shawn Farnsworth, mounted color guard noncommissioned officer-in-charge. “We do this so Soldiers, their Families and public can see what the Army would have looked like in that time period and to share in the community’s Western heritage.”
For several years, the mounted color guard has been involved with the street breakfast festivities.
“There is nothing more American than carrying the national colors with Soldiers leading the way for this community event,” Farnsworth said.
Anderson and the mounted color guard led the Range Riders through the city to Norris-Penrose Event Center where the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo will commence July 11.
“The street breakfast is a great tradition, and what a great way it is to start off the day with our military neighbors,” said Scarlett Patton, wife of a retired Soldier from Fort Carson. “We are so appreciative of the men and women who serve not just overseas, but right here on Tejon Street.”