Bed race brings smiles at Fruita fest

With Hailey Vidmar riding on the mattress, the Fruita Future Farmers of America race their Western-themed bed down Aspen Avenue during the Fruita Fall Festival bed race Saturday. Fruita Canyon Dental won first place in the bed race with a Willy Wonka entry, and the Fruita FFA placed second.

Men dressed as pigs and women mimicking Willy Wonka’s blue-haired minions started Saturday morning true to tradition for an early fall weekend in Fruita: on their rolling beds.

And some talked trash on the second day of the 2010 Alpine Bank Fruita Fall Festival.

Last year’s winner of the festival’s bed race, officers and staff with the Fruita Police Department, were not represented Saturday and became the target of playful jabs.

“They cheated,” alleged Case Bricker, regional manager of Rib City Grill, who was still sore over Rib City’s second-place finish in last year’s race.

“I’m bitterly disappointed,” Bricker said of missing out on a rematch. “We kicked their butts so bad last year, they decided not to do it again. Maybe they need to start going to Gold’s Gym and start working out.”

Rib City’s rolling bed, constructed from a modified catering grill, was among four teams in the friendly competition sprinting up and back along the 200 block of East Aspen Avenue. Spectators lined both sides of the street by 9 a.m. under a sunny sky.

Rib City’s Zack Barnett said his team had come a long way from its first bed three years ago, which promptly fell apart in the middle of the street. This year, team members added front wheels that could actually turn, he said.

“I had to pick it up every 30 feet to change directions last year,” Barnett said. “That’s a pretty grueling two blocks.”

While Rib City finished with respectable results, top honors went to the Fruita Canyon Dental team led by Dr. Krehl Stegelmeir.

Stegelmeir, attired as Willy Wonka, also designed the costumes for his “Oompa-Loompas.”

“We’ve won it twice now,” said Stegelmeir, whose earlier victory was with a team of tooth fairies in 2007.


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