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Modeling only the finest garbage in town

This is the time of year when I start to eye the shredded paper in my office wastebasket. I open my refrigerator and take inventory of the leftover food containers, wondering which ones might fit on my head the best. I poke through the recyclables in the bin behind my house, looking for the brightest colors.

No, I haven’t lost my marbles. I’m getting ready for the April Fool’s Festival on April 4! This is the tenth year our little town will turn into a fun nut-magnet. And these are my favorite nuts.

Last year I posted a photo on Facebook from our April Fool’s Festival of me and Paul sitting in St. Luke’s Plaza wearing hats covered with stuffed dog toys and each holding a Chihuahua who clearly thought we looked fabulous.

I went back this week and read the comments below the photo, which included, “I notice you guys have the entire bench to yourselves.” My L.A. friends might have been a tad confused at our sudden loss of fashion sense, but a fellow Tryonite commented, “My kind of peeps.” Oh yeah, people here get it.

Trade Street is decorated with hundreds of neckties flying like little flags, reminding us all to tie one on for the festival.

All day Saturday, you’ll see your friends wearing strange clothes, some proudly modeling outfits made of nothing but trash, and perfectly sane folks racing down the street in outhouses.

Who doesn’t love watching teams of young people pulling homemade toilets? And what could be more entertaining than seeing grown men and women racing strollers?

If you suddenly feel the need to celebrate spring by coming downtown and soaking up the sunshine with a town full of happy people, you’re in luck.

The Parade of Fools starts at noon, and travels down Trade Street, and then the afternoon fills up with the outhouse races, a trashion show, stroller races, a scavenger hunt, and music and food in the Depot Plaza.

No, you don’t have to dress crazy, but if you do, you’ll fit right in. Of course kids are welcome, and all adults who feel the need to act like kids should come as well.

Have you ever seen a skirt made of egg cartons? A cape of CDs? How about beaded necklaces made of spheres of dog hair? What could you make out of fabric woven with plastic bags?

Start digging through your trash now, and let your imagination go wild. If what you come up with is too embarrassing for you to wear, just put it on your dog and bring him along. Or better yet, try it on your husband.

You could enter yourself or your whole family into the trashion show. The entrance fee is any non-perishable food item or baby item like diapers or baby food to be donated to Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry. Or bring dog food or a doggy item like a leash or dog toy (not the ones on your hat!) to be donated to Foothills Humane Society.

You can laugh all you want, but last year, Paul and I won 10 whole dollars wearing our dog-toy hats, not to mention the admiration of all who saw us. Plus every dog on the street wanted to play with us.

You don’t have to strut down the catwalk to feel like a winner though. Any sidewalk will do. This is your chance to cut loose and be silly, and to celebrate with a town that does the same.

Bring your sense of humor, and get ready to fall in love with Tryon all over again for its quirkiness and charm. It’s a very special place, and April 4 will be a very special day. I’ll see you there.