By Norman Shifflett | Garrison Public Affairs Office
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Soldiers from Fort Carson helped prepare pancakes and eggs for thousands of community members at the annual Western Street Breakfast in downtown Colorado Springs June 19, 2019.
Fort Carson Soldiers have volunteered to cook for the event for 55 years, but this year, the Soldiers were not alone. They received help from volunteers from Peterson Air Force Base.
The 56 Soldiers and 19 airmen started setting up for the event at 1 a.m. to begin serving at 5:30 a.m.
Greg Joell, Fort Carson Food Program manager, has been volunteering at the street breakfast for the last 15 years but said this year stands out from the rest.
“This is the first time that we are partnering with the Air Force for this event,” he said.
The Airmen were happy to participate with the Army to give back to the community.
“I think it is great we were asked to come out and help with today’s street breakfast,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Henry Lopez. “It’s the first time the Air Force has teamed up with the U.S. Army for this community event.”
Air Force Senior Airmen Rikki Joseph saw this as an opportunity for Soldiers and Airmen to unite and give back to the community that has provided so much support to the military.
Proceeds from the street breakfast go back to the local military and their Family members.
“It comes full circle, because of the success of the street breakfast, we are then … able to give back to our local military and their Families,” said Katherine Toman, street breakfast manager.
This year’s attendance was estimated at 8,000 to 9,000 attendees, up from last year’s 7000 people. Nearly 1,100 pounds of pancake batter, 1,500 pounds of eggs, 80 gallons of syrup, 500 gallons of coffee, 7,500 pints of milk and 2,500 pints of juice were served.
The roads were blocked off and 1,100 bales of hay were placed for seating while attendees ate breakfast. They were entertained by live music from Exit West and the Flying W Wranglers, along with a performance by the Sweetwater Indian Dancers.
Children participated in the western dress-up contest, practiced their roping skills on hay bales and visited the Kiddie Corral where they received free cowboy hats and bandanas.
Col. Geoffrey Kent, commander, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, and the 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard led over 200 members of the Pikes Peak Range Riders on horseback from the breakfast to go on a four-day ride around Pikes Peak. This is the 71st year the Pikes Peak Range Riders have made this ride to promote the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo.
The rodeo is July 10-13, 2019, at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, with July 10 dedicated to honoring Fort Carson. The rodeo, which has been a part of Colorado Springs history for 79 years, will feature steer wrestling, mutton bustin’, barrel racing, bull riding and more. Visit Pikes Peak Or Bust Rodeo for more information.