Animals, entrepreneurs communing together

Filed under: News |

Due east of Colorado Springs, there is an unincorporated community representing an array of people and lifestyles. The old-timers are a fiercely independent lot. People who moved to the community in the 1990s longed for that same independence when they traded city life for wide-open spaces. Today, newcomers, who are arriving at an 11-percent growth rate per year, are challenging the ideals of what made Falcon a perfect hide-out for those who had no desire for urban density, neighborhood covenants and government rule.

Despite growing pains and varying opinions about development and, old-timers, pre-21st century residents and newcomers were brought together May 8 for a first-of-its-kind event, sponsored by Purina and hosted by old-timers Ammie and Shannon Vincent, owners of Farmer Jim’s, a long-standing Falcon feed and general store.

Falcon High School was the site of the pet extravaganza/business exposition featuring animal-related programs and local entrepreneurs. The talk among visitors and vendors milling around the business booths was a mixed bag, including tips on caring for goats, issues related to development and local politics, which included another old-timer, Lisa Day, seeking signatures from registered Republicans to secure husband Jim Day’s spot on the November ballot for county commissioner.

Two baby goats and three tiny kittens shared the spotlight with a beautifully coifed rabbit who sat quietly while his owner spun his fur on a spinning wheel, teaching the audience about the origins of bunny fur-lined hats and sweaters. Meanwhile, new Falcon business owners, such as the publishers of Falcon’s new monthly newspaper, The New Falcon Herald, chiropractors Rob and Francine Palmer and Glenn McIntosh, owner of Springs Promotionals (logo imprints, specialty items, screen printing, etc.) intercepted more than 200 people during the noon to 6 p.m. expo. The youngest entrepreneur was 11-year-old Brittany Asbjornsen, who creates and sells beaded bracelets and necklaces for animals and humans.

Front Range Equine Rescue volunteers grilled hamburgers while dog agility and obedience demonstrations captivated the crowd. Miniature horses and Arabian breeds awed spectators by prancing around the school’s parking lot and football field.

Veterinarians Dr. Jim Friedly and Dr. Anita Baker talked about animal acupuncture and how to choose a puppy. Megan Bryant, an animal nutritionist with Purina, presented information about equine nutrition. Nonprofit animal organizations, including the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, promoted causes, including spaying and neutering, donkey, horse and dog and cat rescue, and puppy training.

Comments from attendees and vendors were positive.

“This was an excellent opportunity to make people aware that we train and breed Arabian horses,” said Holly Reuter, owner of Holly Arabians.

Mark Wittrup, a realtor with Rawhide Realty, said he thought everything went well for a first-time event. “There were a lot of people, and I think everyone had a good time,” he said.

Lisa Day, the political advocate for husband Jim, said she “thought it was a great turnout and there were a lot of fun activities and informational programs.” And host Ammie Vincent said that she thinks the event “will be bigger and better next year.”

And, as Falcon’s growth continues, that prediction is more than likely to come true. No matter the lifestyle, from cowboy independent to urban dweller independent, or the opinions, from water issues to commercial growth, the Falcon festivities brought the neighbors of this burgeoning community together in an old-timer’s spirit of camaraderie and friendly discussion.

- Editorial@csjb.com