You are currently browsing the daily archive for June 28, 2011.
(All together now…”I don’t have to speak, she defends me.”)
In many ways, Donkey Derby Days is like any other small town festival. With the exception of a lot of asses. Well, maybe that’s also consistent with quite a few small town festivals.
The festivities themselves started bright and early at 10:00 am on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning, and we were right on the spot for the first event: the Hairiest Legs contest. While we were desperately hoping that there’d be some mountain women in this competition, we were disappointed. In fact, there were only a few participants. I would recommend to the organizers that this event be held later in the day, after the Beer Tent has been open for a while.
The judge for the hairiest legs contest not only had to view them but had to stroke them. There were no wookie-worthy contestants, but the winner, Levi, did indeed have a most hirsute pair of gams.
We made our way through the street vendors, stopping on occasion to inspect their wares more closely. I saved $30 by not buying myself a dress I really wanted.
Glass items were very popular. One gentleman was concerned that his crystals were setting the tablecloth on fire (they were).
The Air Force Academy Falconeering Club had a beautiful bird on display. Kelsea didn’t mind looking at the cadet either.
As is common at almost every festival, someone was selling stuff from South America. Do they come all that way just for the summer? And how do they make any money?
Mountain ladies were selling handmade soap.
We took a side detour into a couple of shops along the main drag to get out of the sun. Kelsea tried on some magnificent hats.
We resisted nearly uncontrollable purchasing impulses.
And then wandered back down to discover one of my favorite elements of any festival….. the petting zoo! Kelsea has temporarily outgrown the petting zoo. I, apparently, am experiencing my second (third? fourth?) childhood, so I was right in there with all the other 8-year olds. Let me tell you, this was some petting zoo!
We had a mini-yak.
A rather assertive and wide-bodied llama.
A ram and numerous goats:
And of course, the star of the show, the donkey.
The donkeys, however, after consulting,
Decided to be ornery and present me with their best side.
Some of the tamer critters were providing donkey rides for the younger set.
That made the poor chained-up pony rides on the hill at the “kids” part of the festival rather unnecessary. Those ponies always looks so miserable. I wish that particular form of entertainment would be banned. But we did like the giant Plinko Board.
We filled out a survey for Santa,
and found ourselves the perfect parade watching spot across from Big Jim’s casino. The parade opened up with the Civil War Soldiers. Or maybe they were the Calvary. I’m not quite sure.
And it consisted of queens (not the city kind):
Fire and rescue services (Kelsea’s favorite):
I was so happy to FINALLY see their little cars in an actual parade.
Next came the event we’d ALL been waiting for: The Donkey Derby! I will say that Kelsea and I discussed participating. First we said yes, then we said no. Then we decided we needed to train so we could do it next year. Then when we realized we wanted to do it this year, it was too late.
Participants started up at the top of the hill by the old jail and received a set of terrifying instructions from a mountain man.
The more ornery local pack was gathered to offer brays of advice to their brethren as they started down the street.
At the sound of the rifle shot (hope it was blanks or we might be one donkey or ass-puller short), they were off! Off is a relative term. Some would go and some wouldn’t.
One poor man had to physically lift his donkey in the air to get it started after it stopped.
One refused to move until its bowels had done so.
And one looked as if he were about to drop dead on the spot, poor thing.
But others were frisking along so quickly their handlers had trouble keeping up.
It was a long course, down the hill and up the hill, about a mile in all. At the end, everyone got a trophy and the donkeys got lots of noms.
It was quite an event, and it helped our strategic planning to see it on two different days. We saw the start and the middle and then met the tribe at the end.
Tune in tomorrow for the second day competitions and some outtake shots from the parade! I leave you with this image to shadow your dreams.
Photo title: Matching Chairs
Little Apple Bay, Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
Quote of the day: “The principle of life is that life responds by corresponding; your life becomes the thing you have decided it
shall be.” — Raymond Charles Barker
Spirits in my bungalow