Whether they were taking their children to the parade or releasing their inner child for a couple of hours, thousands of spectators watched the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Parade wind through downtown Wednesday morning. People lined the east sides of Tejon Street and Cascade Avenue so they could stay in the shade to watch the 12-block parade with 66 entrants. The sun blazed, and by the parade’s 10 a.m. start the temperature was 81 degrees and climbing. The 65th annual parade marked the start of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, which runs through Sunday at the Norris-Penrose Event Center. “Horsey! Horsey! Hi horsey!,” squealed Kendra Sherwood, 3. Kendra’s mother, Merah Sherwood of Colorado Springs, made a play date out of the parade with her four girls and a neighbor and the neighbor’s children. “We come to all the parades,” Sherwood said. The children clapped their hands to the beat provided by various marching bands, pointed and giggled at the clowns and stood when the adults stood as military units marched by. “We like the bands a lot, especially during wartime,” said Eli Muhl. “It seems to be more emotional and there’s a lot of pride there.” Muhl brought his wife, Rebecca, and two children, 1-year-old Ruby and 2-year-old Oliver. “We’ve got kids now, so we’re doing all that stuff we did when we were growing up,” Muhl said. Oliver could stay on Muhl’s shoulders for only so long before he squirmed his way free to clap and point at the clopping horses. Hundreds of senior citizens also got a chance to enjoy the hourlong parade. The Winslow Court Retirement Community rented 300 chairs and invited seniors from assisted living facilities citywide. As it has for 15 years, Winslow Court gave them coffee, doughnuts and a shady spot near Acacia Park to watch. “We wanted to have fun, get out and support our rodeo,” said Sharon Reed, a nurse at Laurel Manor. Many Laurel Manor residents are retired military members and appreciate seeing the troops march. Others are from farming or ranching backgrounds and enjoy seeing the horses. Others are drawn to the vintage cars, perhaps reminding them of cars they drove in the past. “It’s a good opportunity for them to have a change, it’s a nice outing,” said Brian Erickson, Winslow’s administrator. Brenda Carender of Aleut Management Services, parade co-chairwoman, said proceeds from the parade — fees paid by advertisers to be in the program and parade entry fees — will go toward a scholarship fund for Colorado Springs-area children of fallen troops. Business owners and employees wandered out of their shops, stores and offices to enjoy the parade, too. RODEO DETAILS The 2005 Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, which opened Wednesday, continues at 7 p.m. today at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, 1045 W. Rio Grande St. Additional performances at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Finals at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. All seats are reserved. General admission tickets are $8 and $13. Box seats and loge seating are $25. Call Ticketswest for tickets at 576-2626.