Q&A with CarniVail royalty nominees Townsend Bessent and Lauren Arnold | VailDaily.com
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Q&A with CarniVail royalty nominees Townsend Bessent and Lauren Arnold

Townsend Bessent is a photographer with the Vail Daily and went to school at LSU.
Zach Mahone | Zach Mahone | Special to the Dai

CarniVail Royalty Nominees

• Carling Delaney and Jason Cole.

• Travis Coggin and Hayley Gough.

• Townsend Bessent and Lauren Arnold.

• Roberto Morales and Molly Murphy.

To vote for your favorite couple, visit vaildaily.com/carnivail. Voting is open until noon Tuesday, Feb. 9.

Editor’s note: This is the fourth and final article introducing the nominees for CarniVail king and queen.

VAIL — New Orleans-style fun returns Wednesday through Feb. 9 with CarniVail, where locals and visitors can enjoy Mardi Gras merriment and all of the Cajun fixin’s.

The full lineup of activities includes on-mountain crawfish boils, Cajun apres and after-dark parties, a Fat Tuesday Parade and street festival, contests, prizes and much more.

CarniVail king and queen nominees Townsend Bessent, the Vail Daily’s photographer, who went to school in Louisiana, and Lauren Arnold, originally of Houston, are ready to spread Mardi Gras cheer. The royalty hopefuls took some time to answer a few questions for the Vail Daily.

VAIL DAILY: How long have you lived in Vail?

LAUREN ARNOLD: I grew up here. My parents moved here in ’88 when I was 2.

VAIL DAILY: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Mardi Gras?

LA: Flashin’ for beads … and New Orleans.

VAIL DAILY: What’s your favorite part of CarniVail?

LA: I have never been involved with this event, so I am excited to experience the festivities. I’m pretty pumped to wave to people from the royalty float and eat some crawfish!

VAIL DAILY: If named royalty, will fame change you?

LA: Yes. If I won, I would probably have to quit my day job and travel around the world with my CarniVail queen sash spreading the Mardi Gras cheer for the rest of the year.

VAIL DAILY: Have you ever been to the real New Orleans event? If so, what’s the craziest thing you did?

LA: Never have been for Mardi Gras, but I have been to New Orleans for a bachelorette party. I thoroughly enjoyed the boozy slushies, amazing live jazz music, wandering around the French quarter, the famous beignets and observing a naked parade. NOLA doesn’t disappoint.

VAIL DAILY: What’s your favorite Cajun food or drink?

LA: I love the boozy slushies and shrimp po’ boy sandwiches, mmmmmm yummy!

VAIL DAILY: How long have you lived in Vail?

TOWNSEND BESSENT: Since 2008. I came out for holiday help during college but made the permanent move the morning after I graduated from Louisiana State University.

VAIL DAILY: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Mardi Gras?

TB: Amateur hour. And then a flood of fond memories.

VAIL DAILY: What’s your favorite part of CarniVail?

TB: I miss Mardi Gras just about every year now, so it’s really fun to have a parade through Vail and revel in some of those colorful traditions.

VAIL DAILY: If named royalty, will fame change you?

TB: Not unless my queen comes with a dowry.

VAIL DAILY: Have you ever been to the real New Orleans event? If so, what’s the craziest thing you did?

TB: Yes! Many, many times. Craziest thing? Better to keep that off the record — there’s still a few things my parents don’t know about.

VAIL DAILY: What’s your favorite Cajun food or drink?

TB: A cup of chicken and Andouille sausage gumbo with a fried oyster po’boy.

Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and rleonhart@vaildaily.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.


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