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Carbondale's darling, Darin Binion, reigns supreme as the new 2020 Mister Roaring Fork.

The nighttime quiet on Main Street Carbondale was deceptive. The moment celebrants passed through the massive turquoise door of Batch, Roaring Fork Brewery’s tasting room, the party swept them up and in. After an eight-year hiatus, KDNK's man pageant fundraiser, Mr. Carbondale, was back. This year’s event, organized by KDNK Development Director Erin Galbreath and DJ, Kat Rich, sought to represent the community listeners, and was re-envisioned as a Valley-encompassing Mr. Roaring Fork.

Who the hell knew what to expect?! Seven men from the Roaring Fork Valley had the yang to participate, and put on, a hell of an entertaining night. Some of the highlights:

In the work-wear category, Nepalese-born Krishna stepped out modestly in his black Mandarin-collared chef’s uniform, bowing and nodding humbly. And then, when the music exploded? Male ferocity was unleashed. He ripped off his shirt, revealing an oil-rubbed, cinnamon-brown chest and abs. Wielding a very large knife, Krish slashed madly to the sound of the bass, carrots flying everywhere.

In his own Carbondale Beerworks attire — just an apron, socks and shoes, Brian shared his talents as a rather fetching, charismatic mixologist, pouring libations for the celebrity judges. And moving beyond skin deep, another contestant, Hector, shared a rousing poem for the talent category (see sidebar) that had the house erupting in a communal, heartfelt roar.

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Yogi Rodrigo stretches his furry stuff for the talent category.

People often wonder what it is that makes a community so special, and this event embodied it wholly. Business sponsors — Cavi-Cinch, Aloha Mountain Cyclery, HighQ, Batch — don’t just donate money, they show up and rock the party.

Carbondale Arts’ Amy Kimberly and Let Them Roar vocalist Olivia Pevec emceed together in stimulating get-ups and twin mustaches, as local artist Rochelle Norwood ripped the turntables. Delicious volunteers clad in scraps of black and sass worked the crowd, offering insane chocolate desserts created gratis by local chefs and restaurants.

The judging was tough — I know because I was one of them. I attended as “Dirty Girl, Not Your Average Garden Hoe,” attired in pedal-pusher Dickies pinstripe overalls, high-heeled Vachetta leather shit kickers, and a bandana-wrapped head of dread-locked curls.

The qualities on display at the Mr. Roaring Fork competition represented so much of what is attractive in the modern man: humor, humility, confidence, intelligence and big, big hearts. Darin Binion took Mr. Roaring Fork this year. He’s a solar-installer, bike polo player, husband, genuine friend and community volunteer to the hilt. He accepted the crown from former Mr. Carbondale, Michael Gorman, saying, “Let’s celebrate manhood every day.” As a Carbondale resident, he added, “It’s about giving, because Carbondale gives so much.”

Aspen, Basalt, Glenwood — Mr. Roaring Fork includes you, too. A watershed gives life to all within it. We are not “this town” or “that town,” we are a Valley-wide community. Let’s grow Mr. Roaring Fork next year and see more of our Valley-wide brothers represent what a good man truly is.

Mister Roaring Fork

(Scribbled in #2 pencil by Hector Rojo)

Stands firm like Mount Sopris

Yet flows like its rivers.

Drinks its water, rides its water

and protects its waters.

He harvests its dead standing trees

and houses the less fortunate.

We have all heard of “dances with wolves,”

Mister Roaring Fork sleeps with mountain lions

in a tree house he built out of scraps.

He builds with reclaimed and is ecologically correct

He is a blacksmith that forges dreams into reality

He gouges the rich and strengthens the poor!

Mister Roaring Fork renounces the Big Corp

Mister Roaring Fork supports KDNK, CCAH and drinks RFBrews

Mister Roaring Fork teaches Life at the high school

and that you don’t DO yoga, you ARE yoga!

Mister Roaring Fork knows and protects the valley

as if it were his family’s home

Mister Roaring Fork does not wish for world peace,

he knows the Universe is not at ease

He prays for love to live in the chaos.

Mister Roaring Fork is not an original artist,

but an amalgamation of his teachers,

his students