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The day Falcon had a parade

Falcon, Colorado, was platted in El Paso County in the year 1888. The Chicago Rock Island Railroad laid tracks from Limon, Colorado, to Colorado Springs in 1888. Other cities between Limon and Colorado Springs also grew because of those tracks. By 1958, the Falcon train depot, saloons, hotels, general store, newspaper (The Falcon Herald) and other businesses were gone. All that was left were a few homes and the remains of one boarded-up hotel.On the east side of Highway 24 was a fuel distributor to furnish fuels to the ranchers and farmers, a small country store with two gas pumps in front, a small motel and the one school of the Falcon school district.In 1958, a small campground was being built about a mile west of Highway 24. Four years later, the small country store burned down and was not rebuilt. The gas pumps and tanks were moved to the small campground.Falcon stayed this way until the 1980s. So, where was this Falcon? Roughly, the city limits of Falcon were Highway 24 on the east, the road leading to the Rock Island RR trailhead on the north, McLaughlin on the west and Old Meridian on the south. At this point, it should be pointed out another railroad came to the Falcon area in 1881. The Denver New Orleans Railroad passed on the west side of what would become Falcon.Between 1980 and 1985, the fire department started building a fire station at Old Meridian and 24. A convenient store and gas station were built on the southeast corner of Meridian and 24 and is now named Diamond Shamrock. Down the road, the campground improved its store and gas station. A developer, Art Van Sant, built a business complex at the corner of what is now Old Meridian and McLaughlin. The building had four businesses including a sub shop. Falcon now had a place to eat after many years of going hungry.Art Van Sant had a vision for Falcon. Art wanted the Falcon area to realize the ghost town of Falcon was becoming a live town with the new businesses. Art decided Falcon needed a parade to celebrate the founding of Falcon in 1888. With much work and promotion to the schools, the fire department, 4H groups, churches and businesses; Art contacted anyone who would listen about a centennial parade. This was not the town of the Falcon area we know today. This was a town that had maybe half a dozen houses and a few new businesses. The people of Falcon and Eastern El Paso County thought this parade would be fun. Well, most people did but this did not slow Art down, and the parade was on.The parade went from Falcon Elementary School on Falcon Highway and turned on Meridian and headed toward Highway 24. The parade crossed Highway 24 and ended at the open field across from the new fire station. There were floats, fire trucks, cars, pickups, horses, bands, clubs and just people walking in the parade. The little store and campground had three entries. A young boy got to ride in a firetruck in the parade and is now an officer in the Falcon Fire Department. People enjoyed watching the parade but being in the parade was a lot more fun.The date of the parade was Aug. 6, 1988. Three days later, Colorado Springs annexed Banning Lewis Ranch. A mere 12 years later, Safeway was building a new store on a new Woodmen Road joining Highway 24.Art Van Sant had reason to be proud of his parade, of Falconís parade! The ghost town of Falcon was coming alive and is remembered by this parade. Art wanted more so he developed a park on the south side of his property along what is now called Old Meridian Road. The park had a sign that noted this was Falcon, Colorado, established in 1988. The park also had a monument noting that it is dedicated to the pioneers who settled in the area 100 years prior. Art called this little park Centennial Park. He also put in a picnic table and small swing set and it became a small roadside park.Thirty plus years later the park is gone. The monument and sign are still there. Gesick Motor Company now owns the property and has donated both the sign and monument to the community to be moved to a better setting.

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