Crawfish costumes and an underwear tree in Vail |

Crawfish costumes and an underwear tree in Vail

Sarah Mausolfsmausolf@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado
Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyVail Resorts Products Sales and Services employees Kevin Zaiontz, left, Karen Pottratz, Andrea Linares, and Melissa Caffery work on a decoration for their "Vail Lei'd Back," Mardi Gras float Sunday at Golden Peak in Vail, Colorado.

VAIL, Colorado When Patrick OMalleys team came up with its float for the CarniVail parade being held Tuesday in Vail Village, Colorado some brainstorming went into it.The theme Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles go camping, came to mind, and quickly evolved into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles go skiing.By Saturday, OMalleys group was leaning toward a ski freely theme. They planned to recreate the tree on Vail Mountain onto which skiers toss their underpants. To get the effect, OMalley said his team planned to build a mini-ski hill on the back of a trailor pulled by a Jeep. Then they intended to add a tree draped with cheap or donated underwear.I think most people will get it if theyve been on that part of the mountain, said OMalley, a spa coordinator at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa in Vail. Even if they havent, it should still be funny.Seven organizations are competing in the annual float contest during this years CarniVail parade. The parade is a PG version of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Aside from throwing beads at the crowd, the makers of floats will be competing for a $1,000 first prize. Groups making floats include the local 4-H club, Vail Resorts training and development, the Yellow Jackets, Vail Resorts marketing, Vail Resorts product sales and services, Habitat for Humanity, and coworkers from the Vail Cascade.Event organizer Natalie Fandrey, public relations manager at Highline Sports & Entertainment in Vail, said a panel of Highline staffers will judge the floats. Judges will grade the floats on creativity, enthusiasm, craftmanship, and CarniVail spirit, she said.Show me your passFor one group, the parade will mean suiting up in crawfish costumes. The Yellow Jackets, a group of people who monitor safety on Vail Mountain, decided on a crawfish boil theme, team member Jim Cordell said. As of Friday, they planned to turn a rig truck into a giant crawfish pot, he said. The Yellow Jackets won the float contest last year. Their winning float had been based on their mascot, Pork Chop the safety pig.Another float will celebrate the Epic pass, a cheap season ski pass that proved popular this year. Cindy Metzler, a marketing coordinator for Vail Resorts, said her team will decorate sandwich boards to look like giant Epic passes. She plans to jump out of a jack-in-the-box, yell Show me your pass to crowd members, and throw beads into the audience.We always try and have a theme thats going to make people happy and generate cheers from the crowd, Metzler said.

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or

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