Basalt’s Prius Parade intends to counter fuel-ish auto habits |

Basalt’s Prius Parade intends to counter fuel-ish auto habits

Scott Condon
Ann MacLeod and Karen Signell are organizing Toyota Prius owners for the Basalt River Days parade on Saturday. (Mark Fox/The Aspen Times)

Basaltine Karen Signell loves a good parade and she’s a dedicated activist for environmental causes, so she’s found a unique way to meld her two passions.Signell is organizing a Prius Parade as part of Basalt’s River Days celebration Saturday, Aug. 19. Don’t expect anything flashy – there will be no souped-up versions of Toyota’s gas-electric hybrid pulling wheelies or laying long streaks of rubber. The Prius Parade is simply to show that high mileage and low emissions are easily attainable.

“The message is for people to see the advantage of the low-pollution cars,” Signell said.She and her partner, Ann MacLeod, zip around in a silver 2005 Prius that Signell said gets up to 58 miles per gallon in valley driving. They are appealing to other midvalley Prius-ians to join them in the River Days Parade, which starts at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and winds through downtown Basalt. Signell and MacLeod have placed business cards on windshields of other Priuses over the last week alerting them about the parade.Signell hopes for an impressive representation of the car that’s popped up in increasingly large numbers in the valley in the last two years. Anyone who wants to participate, in a Prius or any other hybrid, should show up at 11 a.m. on Two Rivers Road at the Streamside building, a few blocks upvalley of the 7-Eleven store.

The Prius Parade is the first act that Go Green Basalt, a new grassroots environmental group Signell and MacLeod founded, is undertaking. The group will have a booth at River Days, where it will hand out 50 free compact fluorescent lights Holy Cross Energy donated, and share other information about how global warming is affecting the earth and steps that can reduce household emissions.They got motivated to start the group after seeing Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” and a Tom Brokaw documentary, “Global Warming, What You Need to Know.”Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the threat of global warming, Signell and MacLeod became energized to do something. They will focus on steps that average people in local households and businesses can take.

“I like working for something rather than against something,” Signell said. “I’m really hopeful things could happen.”Scott Condon’s e-mail address is


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