Jun 16, 2013 10:54 PM by Andy Koen
Rodeo season in Colorado Springs starts with two big events: the Street Breakfast and the departure of the Pikes Peak Range Riders. However, this summer the cowboys will be staying close to home.
The Range Riders have canceled their annual trip around Pikes Peak for just the second time in the event's 65 year history because of the Black Forest Fire. The previous cancellation came in 2002 during the Hayman Fire.
"We know that at least 2 of the ranches have been destroyed that are owned by our range riders," said Range Rider President Ted Severn "We know that there are others that are still in jeopardy, some people haven't been able to get back on their property to see what the damage is."
At least 35 riders and their families are either evacuated or have lost homes to the fire. Many other members are busy caring for the animals of those riders.
"The range riders are from the community, they're some of the prominent businessmen and ranchers of the community," Severn said. "The last thing that they're going to do is turn their tail on the community at a critical time and head of up into the mountains."
That doesn't mean they'll miss the street breakfast. In fact, Range Rider and Chairman of the Street Breakfast Brett Axton said many of them will be downtown Wednesday morning helping to serve meals.
"You're going to have some people that have lost their homes that are going to be down there serving breakfast," Axton said. "You're going to have some people down there that are still displaced that are going to come down there and support the idea that the Range Riders are here to help the community but we're kicking off that western heritage and rodeo season."
What's more, they'll be walking around filling cowboy hats and boots with donations for fire victims and first responders. Axton says all of the money they collect will stay in the community.
The Street Breakfast starts at sunrise (5:30 a.m.) on Wednesday at the intersection of Pikes Peak Avenue and Tejon Street. A $5 donation buys a pancake and eggs breakfast. The money supports local military charities in our community.
The public is encouraged to come early for a chance to win a drawing for a new iPad Mini.