By Norman Shifflett
Fort Carson Public Affairs Office
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Soldiers from Fort Carson helped prepare breakfast for thousands of community members at the annual Western Street Breakfast in downtown Colorado Springs June 15, 2022.
Soldiers from Fort Carson and Airmen from Peterson Space Force Base volunteered to cook and serve mounds of pancakes, eggs and sausage along with having plenty of syrup, coffee, and orange juice on hand for hungry attendees.
Approximately 45 Soldiers and eight Airmen started setting up for the event at midnight so they could begin serving at 5:30 a.m.
Senior Airman Audreanna McGraw-Cole, a volunteer from Peterson Space Force Base, said it was her first time at the event but felt it was important for the military and the community.
“I think it is important for the military to get involved in the community,” said McGraw-Cole. “Getting to know the people here helps us feel like we are part of the community and makes us feel at home.”
Cpl. Reina Chicas with 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, said that events like these are important to get the military out into the community.
“This helps us get closer to the community of Colorado Springs,” said Chicas. “Usually, we are in our own little world (Fort Carson), and it’s nice to get out and interact with community members and to see the impact we have on them.”
This year’s attendance was estimated at 10,000 attendees.
Nearly 1,100 pounds of pancake batter; 1,500 pounds of eggs and sausage; 80 gallons of syrup; 500 gallons of coffee; 7,500 pints of milk; 2,500 pints of juice were served according to Gregory Joell, food program manager, Army Field Support Battalion.
The roads were blocked off, and 1,100 bales of hay were placed for attendees to sit on while they ate breakfast and be entertained by live music from Exit West, Flying W. Wranglers, students from the Colorado Springs Conservatory 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 visit the kiddie corral where they received free cowboy hats and bandanas.
Col. Nate Springer, garrison commander, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson, Col. Damon Wells, Division Artillery commander, 4th Infantry Division; 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 74th year the Pikes Peak Range Riders have made this ride to promote the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo.
Fort Carson has been supporting the street breakfast for 57 years and proceeds from the event go back to the local service members and their Family members.
“The city of Colorado Springs and the Range Riders have done so much for Fort Carson,” said Springer. “The whole Pikes Peak or Bust series donates (money) back to all the installations across the front range.”
The rodeo is July 13-16, 2022, at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, with July 13, 2022, 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 http://www.pikespeakorbust.org/ for more information.