Prius parade returns in Basalt |

Prius parade returns in Basalt

Scott CondonAspen, CO Colorado
Ann MacLeod, left, and Karen Signell are again urging Pruis owners to join the parade Saturday in Basalt. (Aspen Times file)

BASALT Midvalley Prius owners love a parade.For the second straight year, owners of the high-efficiency, low-emissions Toyota cars hope to make a splash in Basalts River Days parade Saturday. Last year, Karen Signell and Ann MacLeod urged Prius drivers like themselves to simply show up at the parade and drive together as a group. Sixteen proud Prius owner obliged, along with drivers of a handful of other high-fuel-efficiency vehicles.This year Signell hopes to attract more participants and believes its possible, considering how many Priuses are whisking around the Roaring Fork Valley.For the last few weeks, Signell and MacLeod have talked to Prius owners in person or left information about the parade on parked cars. Every time we see a Prius, we jump out and put a little ticket on it, Signell said.Prius owners will meet at 11:15 a.m. at the River View Offices near the intersection of Elk Run Drive and Two Rivers Road. Signs green, of course will guide the way. The parade is at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.Signell and MacLeod are founders of a grassroots environmental organization called Go Green Basalt. Their goal behind the Prius parade is to send a low-key environmental message.Were hoping that people realize they get high mileage and they also help with energy independence, Signell said. The display is also meant to showcase how quietly the cars run. The Prius is a hybrid between electric power and a standard gas engine. It emits drastically lower carbon emissions than other vehicles.Signell said her Prius gets up to 57 miles per gallon. The range is between 47 and 57 mpg, drivers in the Roaring Fork Valley report.Parade watchers seemed to appreciate last years entry in the River Days event, so Signell expects another good reception if for no other reason than by default.The parade would be really short without the Priuses, so the [organizers] were glad to see us, she said.The parade entry is open to other hybrids and participants dont have to be from Basalt. The nonprofit organization Access Roaring Fork will drive its rainbow-colored bus, which runs on biodiesel and uses solar power for its electrical system, in the parade. The bus promotes energy efficiency and other environmental causes.For more on Basalt River Days and the festivals scheduled entertainment, see Arts & Entertainment.Scott Condons e-mail address is