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.

Small Town Festival, Big City Ass (not mine)

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 Beer Tent In A Quiet Moment

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.

Levi, He of the Hairiest Legs

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.

You can almost see the dress I didn't buy over there on the right...

Glass items were very popular. One gentleman was concerned that his crystals were setting the tablecloth on fire (they were).

Opaline crystals

The Air Force Academy Falconeering Club had a beautiful bird on display.  Kelsea didn’t mind looking at the cadet either.

Air Force Falcon

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?

Denizens of the Lower Realm

Mountain ladies were selling handmade soap.

Touchy Feely Soapy

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 One-Sided Conversation

Caution: Wide Load

A ram and numerous goats:

There was a little girl who had a little curl...

Incredibly Teeny Incredibly Cute Incredible Baby Goat

And of course, the star of the show, the donkey.

The Star in Profile

The donkeys, however, after consulting,


Decided to be ornery and present me with their best side.

The result of the consultation.

Some of the tamer critters were providing donkey rides for the younger set.

Ready to Ride

Trying To Tip... Or Eat The Tips?

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.

Giant Plinko = Cool/Pony Rides = Not Cool

We filled out a survey for Santa,

Santa? We did see a sign for his house up the road...

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.

Parade Opener

And it consisted of queens (not the city kind):

Queen of Somewhere Way Out West


Happy Dog, Happy Dog

Classic cars:

An Oldie...

And a goodie.

Classic people:

Escorted Down The Avenue

Fire and rescue services (Kelsea’s favorite):

She waves at every emergency vehicle she passes (but not the po-po).

Pre-Parade Pose


A long line of ranchers

Here come the cowboys... (an inappropriate song line comes to mind)

A big man needs a big horse. One big horse = check.

and Shriners.

One of many Shriners

I was so happy to FINALLY see their little cars in an actual parade.

What if we all drove these little cars? Would the world be a happier place?

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.

The Long Donkey Road

Participants started up at the top of the hill by the old jail and received a set of terrifying instructions from a mountain man.

Mountain Man who provided instructions to city slickers

Donkey Chaos

Lining up (in a manner of speaking)

The more ornery local pack was gathered to offer brays of advice to their brethren as they started down the street.

Watching and Laughing

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.

Donkey Chaos In Motion

One poor man had to physically lift his donkey in the air to get it started after it stopped.

The newest fad - donkey hefting.

One refused to move until its bowels had done so.

Emptying the tank

And one looked as if he were about to drop dead on the spot, poor thing.

One unhappy donkey

But others were frisking along so quickly their handlers had trouble keeping up.

Does this thing come with instructions?

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.

Give me noms. Now.

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.

Attack of the 50-foot teenager

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

Daily gratitudes
Spirits in my bungalow


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