Fools & fun In Minturn | VailDaily.com
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Fools & fun In Minturn

Geraldin Haldner

Being a fool any day is kind of a drag.Being a fool in Minturn1s first-ever Foolish Day Parade<in drag<is kind of fun.A lot of fun, actually.Known normally for Swiss-squareness and an absolute respect for all things politically correct this reporter needed to go deep undercover to investigate the wheelings and dealings behind the scenes of the Minturn Foolish Day Parade, which made its debut Saturday afternoon<after all, Michael Cacioppo of Speakout is my idol.Wearing an Afghani OShalwar Kameez1, a wooly and therefore scratchy nightshirt over pants so huge it could have fit a mini-van comfortably, this reporter descended upon the Minturn Municipal parking lot with dagger in hand and beard strung to ears.My lovely companion of the day<Abdulah-Abdulah<wore her finest blue OBurka1, the finely-pleaded, head-to-toe cover with embroidered view window, that has come to symbolize female oppression in the Western Hemisphere.Only Abdulah wasn1t acting oppressed, wearing fishnet stockings and a lovely leopard-print frilly thing.3They make me feel quite sexy, a not-so-demure Abdulah said, before taking off down the parade route, flashing innocent bystanders and making nice with any man that would allow her to do so.3It1s been so long<actually, never<since I felt like this. Western civilization is great, she said, before running off to bat her invisible eyelashes at puzzled Minturn resident and Eagle County Commissioner Michael Gallagher and rub her shapely, fishnetted legs against his.3How sweet it is, the puzzled politician said, before letting go.The parade, the brainchild of Minturn merchants Robin Kelly-Goss and Georgette Van Buren, made a modest debut in numbers but not in displays.About a dozen cars and floats, interspersed with walking costumed fools made noise and flaunted their foolishness before a crowd of 60 or so spectators.3About two beers, answered Chuck Japp, to a question of what it took to convince him to be part of the parade. He and several buddies trekked to Minturn from Eagle to poke fun at hunting<wearing as much fur as orange.Alexis Jade Salazar, all of one year old, smiled wide, looking rather cute and not at all foolish, despite that there were enough balloons tied to her stroller to keep her afloat. Her dad, Andy Salazar, and his wife, Marian, who own a party-supply store in Minturn, had decked out the stroller to drum up some business and show their support for anything fun in Minturn.3Since we own OParty Central1 we thought we better be part of this, Andy Salazar said before pushing off.Debbie Bonidy of Avon was the belle of the ball, wearing a skin-tight red devil outfit, festooned with a toy poodle, Oscar, strapped to her belly.3I love to dress up, she said between posing for pictures. 3Any chance I get. So when I heard about it, I knew this would be right up my alley.Oscar, wearing a bonnet and looking either woeful or oblivious, incidentally won the prize for Best Foolish Pet, all without taking a single step along the one-mile route through the Minturn1s business district.Organized in true Minturn casual fashion, the parade quickly stretched out as it wound its way along cheering groups of spectators, some decked out in foolish finery themselves.At one point, Van Buren, dressed up as Minturn1s Foolish Day sheriff, deputized a clueless couple standing at a corner. 3Tell them that we turn here, she said pointing to the next float, still a couple of hundred yards behind, before riding off ahead of the parade on her stick horse.The couple nodded obediently.After the parade, participants and spectators mingled on Nelson Avenue, dancing to tunes from the movie OFlashback1 and munching on fish tacos and barbeque sandwiches, while the best fools were awarded with gift certificates.Mary Keitel of St. Paul, Minn., who was in town 3just visiting was snapping pictures of fools left and right, having a great time.3I love this, she said. 3Being surrounded by this many fools makes me like my husband better.The Minturn Foolish Day Parade even had a Hollywood celebrity in attendance.Ian Ziering, of 3Beverly Hills 90210 fame, wasn1t wearing anything foolish but mingling in celebrity-undercover get-up<a baseball hat and sunglasses<and flashing his made-for-television smile.Zierling, a passionate skier who is rumored to be making Vail his second home, though he would only say that he was 3staying with friends, gave the parade a celebrity endorsement.3This is great, he said. 3I think it is great if a town can find a reason to get together and party<my kind of town.Maybe he will build a mansion in Minturn, huh? April1s Fool!Geraldine Haldner covers Vail, Minturn and Red Cliff. She can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 602 or at ghaldner@vaildaily.com


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