UPDATE ON THE ANNUAL NAKED PUMKIN RUN!
If you read my post yesterday (Part I is below), you would know that the Boulder City government had a mountain over a mole hill-size reaction to the thought of naked pumpkin runners and college students and the rest of us celebrating Halloween on the Pearl Street Mall that might be a little too wild for their taste.
The nuns at my Catholic High School were more liberal than them.
Do you want the Good News first or the Bad News first?
Okay fine, the Bad News first:
THERE WAS NOT ONE NAKED PUMPKIN RUNNER...NOT A ONE!
Maybe this will give you a clue as to why:
There were police, police, and more police
Police in cars, on bikes, on foot...
Many were waiting with anticipation for the Annual Naked Pumpkin Runners...they never came.
A lone sign protesting...to no avail
The crowd got excited...could it be a naked pumpkin runner...NO, AN IMPOSTER, A FAKE!
Photo by Will Morgan/ For The Camera (WILL MORGAN)
Another wannabe naked pumpkin runner who didn't want to be labelled a "sex offender"
Now, the Good News:
WE, and 4000 other well-behaved but boisterous people had a Happy Halloween. We were packed onto the mall. There was one arrest and no one noticed. There were outrageous costumes, groups of ninjas running through the crowd, and a lot of kids dressed up as police and swat teams. I got fooled by one of them:
I kind of got excited at the thought of being arrested...but he was a "fake" Swat team cop...I'm so gullible
More Good News:
We took the bus to and from the Pearl Street Mall, and that was a great experience!
Happy people on the bus
"Forty police officers patrolled the Mall in pairs, and another 60 were spread out around the city. The fire department was on alert to respond quickly to any fires on University Hill, Boulder police spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said.
Police estimated the crowd on the Mall at around 4,000, bigger than estimates from last year but a far cry from the 20,000 to 40,000 people who descended on downtown Boulder in the last years of the Mall Crawl, before police put an end to the rowdy event in 1991.An attempt to revive the Mall Crawl had put police on edge in the weeks leading up to the event. At a 9:30 p.m. media briefing, Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner said he believed that the police department's efforts to tame the party -- including shutting down parking garages and announcing the large presence of officers -- was working."I've heard people say, 'It's just not worth it. Let's not go down there,'" he said. "Obviously there will always be people who come down to the Mall. The police presence appeared to deter full participation in the annual Naked Pumpkin Run, where people streak down the Mall wearing nothing but carved-out pumpkins on their heads. Around 11:20 p.m., three people with jack-o-lanterns on their heads ran down Pearl Street, prompting officers to descend on the area. But the three people covered what they needed to cover to be within the law."
I do want to say something positive here about the police who were only doing their jobs as had been mandated to them by Chief Mark Beckner (the same Chief Mark Beckner who arrived unannounced at the doors of the two young men who were promoting the Mall Crawl on their Facebook pages...the same Chief Mark Beckner who was trying to intimidate these young men with threats of legal recourse until the ACLU stepped in and got them to back off.).
The police I saw joked with the crowds, took pictures of the party revelers and had smiles on their faces. They took a fair amount of guff from some of the more obnoxious revelers who'd had perhaps maybe a few too many.
The Mall Crawl made a successful comeback...and that's a good thing. The restaurants and bars were packed. People were good natured and gracious to one another, even as we were bumping and slamming into each other in the tunnel-neck places of the Mall.
Looking back at the night (I went to sleep at 3:30 AM), the scene was wild but not wicked. And that's the part that makes me feel like Chief Mark Beckner got exactly what he wanted...naked pumpkin runners may be a thing of the past.
And that just feels un-American.
Photo courtesy of nakedpumpkingrun.org
Boulder, Colorado is perceived as a liberal "it is what it is" kind of town. Images of flower children and free love come to people's mind when they think of Boulder. Forbes Magazine rated it the #1 smartest city in America and the most educated.
Apparently, none of the smart people are in charge of making the decisions for its citizens. Last year, during the Annual Pumpkin Naked Run, the local paper reported there were some 100 runners. I was there (with clothes on thank you very much) and was witness to at least 300 hundred naked pumpkin runners streaking down Pearl Street Mall.
Just some good ole fashioned family fun.
This may sound strange, but it was as American as apple pie.
The hour was late, the children had been safely tucked in their beds, the crowd was happy and supportive. Fun and good natured joking filled the air.
The humorless police dampened the spirits of 15 runners who were ticketed with indecent exposure and the threat of being listed as sex offenders. These 15 people were made up of professionals and professors, students and housewives. They may as well have been forced to walk around town with a shirt with a big orange X plastered all over it.
This year, the fascists, I mean, City of Boulder, are getting serious. I found this in the Daily Camera this morning:
In an effort to keep rowdy crowds out of downtown Boulder during Saturday night's Halloween celebration, the city will close off access to six parking garages and is even considering shutting down U.S. 36.
Boulder officials announced Friday that the city will close off its downtown parking garages from 9 p.m. Saturday until 2 a.m. Sunday.
As for the Naked Pumpkin Run, I found this:
Naked pumpkins: It's not clear whether the annual Naked Pumpkin Run will happen this year on Pearl Street, but police have threatened to arrest anyone who doesn't cover up.
Mall Crawl?: Two local men last month called, via Facebook, for a revival of the costumed event, which drew 40,000 people to the Pearl Street Mall at its peak in 1989. Police have since asked that they stop promoting the event; one of them agreed.
What the Camera failed to mention is that the two local men who were calling for a renewal of the Mall Crawl through Facebook were threatened with legal action if they did not stop promoting the event. Hmmmm, is anyone else thinking, WHAT HAPPENED TO FREE SPEECH?
I love Boulder, Colorado...a place I've called home for over 26 years. Its beauty is unmatched, its citizens conscious and aware...but I find this more than disturbing.
You know you're in trouble when the dumbing down of American involves Boulder, Colorado.
And for the first time, I have to agree with those who refer to Boulder as The People's Republic of Boulder because today it is.
Closing down taxpayer funded parking lots, threatening to shut down US 36, the only major highway between Boulder and Denver, giving out indecent exposure tickets, threatening labels as sex offenders...well, it's not only dumb, it seems unconstitutional.
When you try to get any details on this event, the source to go to is nakedpumpkinrun.org, but they've become paranoid; you have to send them a private email to get information. They're being watched and they know it.
Talk about scary.
No worries! As your loyal Open Salon Reporter, I'll be on Pearl Street tonight to report on the event...or non-event. Should there be any naked pumpkin runners who dare to defy the powers that be, I'll be on hand to investigate and report.
Should any pictures leak of this event, and should there be a picture of a naked runner that bears any resemblance to ME in any way, shape or form, the likeness will be purely coincidental.
I know that I should end this post by saying 'Happy Halloween", but given the repressive nature of the Boulder City government, all I can say is BAH HUMBUG.