The Western Street Breakfast is a classic Colorado Springs tradition that began in 1936, when 35 people gathered around an old wagon outside Joe Reich’s Swiss Chalet and bought their morning meal.
Over the next 86 years, Western Street Breakfast has served thousands of cowhands, cowbelles and lay people.
This year, the Western Street Breakfast will be held from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesday on Tejon Street in downtown Colorado Springs. Breakfast is served to the public by Army and Air Force volunteers, with proceeds going to local military personnel and their families.
You pay $5 for a regular feast: pancakes, eggs, coffee, juice and milk. It’s a bargain, especially considering that a 1949 ticket sold for around $1. Children under 5 eat free.
Attendees enjoy free hay bale seating and top-notch entertainment including live music, performances by the Sweetwater Native American Dancers and, of course, the start of the Pikes Peak Range Riders.
In 1950, a year after their maiden voyage, the Pikes Peak Range Riders dubbed the Western Street Breakfast the starting point of their legendary ride.
After using the street breakfast as a kickstarter for some sixty years, the Pikes Peak Range Riders took over its organization and have maintained the operation ever since.
Kevin Kaveney, co-chair of the Western Street Breakfast Committee, calls the breakfast a “good old-fashioned wholesome destination community event” and commends Colorado Springs for its dedication to preserving its Western heritage.
“There aren’t too many cities in America doing something like that anymore,” Kaveney said.