Man oh man! |

Man oh man!

April E. Clark
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April in Glenwood

It’s true, Rand McNally and USA Today named Glenwood Springs the Most Fun Town in America last year. But just up the road, a group of brave men brought mad fun Friday night to Carbondale, in the town’s inaugural man pageant.

It’s proof that pageants aren’t just for girls anymore.

As part of KDNK Community Access radio’s fall membership drive, the Mr. Carbondale event was the fundraising brainchild of my good friend Kat Rich. Kat knows how to have fun. So what better way to raise money and increase membership than by asking 14 men of all shapes and sizes to compete in a man pageant? There was just one catch – the evening gown competition.

Let the games begin.

I appreciate a man comfortable enough in his own sexuality to rock a floor-length gown. In public. And on video. I’ve seen plenty of little boys play dress up in their moms’ closets, so what’s the big deal? Personally, I’ve been known to wear many manly clothing options: Colts jerseys, a blue polyester leisure suit, and plaid boxer shorts. So I have no problem seeing a man in heels.

They’re not so easy to walk in, now are they guys?

The evening gown portion of the evening was quite impressive, as many of the men actually fit quite well in their formal gowns. I won’t lie, I was a little jealous how well my friend Hamilton filled out his form-fitting dress.

Some contestants accessorized with earrings and elbow-length gloves. Others went simple, with just the dress and some light lipstick.

As an emcee at the event, I helped introduce the contestants to the stage. I couldn’t help but notice from the back that a few of the good men couldn’t quite get zipped in all the way.

Those traps and lats can really get in the way in a dress.

The evening gown competition was one of four categories in the Mr. Carbondale man pageant. Believe it or not, it wasn’t the most comical of the evening. There were also River Wear, Talent and Carhartt categories.

For those unfamiliar with the Carhartt brand, I suggest checking into it. Carhartt makes durable work and casual wear for all those men and women out there who work and play hard. Carhartts, especially the pants, are well known in these parts, so we thought it was only appropriate we work this Western wardrobe staple into the competition. I know all the guys that competed in Mr. Carbondale like to get their hands, and pants, dirty.

Especially the man we know as Billy Bob.

The talent category was a hoot, as the contestants sang, danced, and even told really bad jokes – sorry to Big Daddy Dan Hardin for pulling the plug on the terrible punch lines. Of course I had to use a whip to do it. Being that “Pour Some Sugar On Me” is my all-time favorite song, I was quite thrilled to see first runner-up Darren from Aloha Mountain Cyclery bust his dance moves on the catwalk to one of Def Leppard’s greatest hits. Second runner-up Diesel Dan wasn’t so bad at the moves himself.

He’s been known to win some dance-offs.

The River Wear portion of the competition was a shout-out to a favorite pastime and full-time job for many a river professional in our valley. I love the river, so I was personally thrilled to see Michael Gorman don paddles as his form of river wear. And when I say paddles, I mean two. Not three. Or even four. That takes some seriously constructive – and creative – fashion design.

Lucky for him there were no wardrobe malfunctions.

Michael’s showing may have clinched the crown, as he was named the first-ever Mr. Carbondale. I know when I think of fun, I think of Michael Gorman. Like any pageant winner, he is a representation of the town in which he lives. He is an avid outdoorsman. He’s a lover of the river. He’s a singer of sorts, armed with only his high-pitched vocals and an accordion. Plus he looks good in Carhartts. And an evening gown.

Here he is, Mr. Carbondale.

“April in Glenwood” appears every Wednesday. April E. Clark was once third runner-up in Indiana’s annual Miss Riley Days pageant. Which is technically fourth place. Winners can’t be choosers. She can be reached at

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