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Masons named new WWWC royalty

Masons named new WWWC royalty as big weekend wraps

Feb 5, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Next year's Wild West Winter Carnival king and queen are Scott and Darla Mason of Riverton.

The royal couple was crowned on Saturday evening after a day filled with events as part of the carnival celebration.

Winter revelers started the morning with ice sculpting on Main Street, then headed west to City Park for the Kids Coin Grab, the Hole-in-One Golf competition and tethered balloon rides. The Quiltfest was ongoing all day at the Fremont Center, with the annual Crab Crack, Quick Draw and WWWC coronation filling the St. Margaret's School gymnasium in the evening.

Marlys Bias of Riverton said she entered six pieces in the quilt show and attended the event as a vendor sharpening rotary blades. But she made sure to check out the Quick Draw at St. Margaret's before heading home for the day.

"I always like to see this," she said, studying the artwork that had been created during the past hour for the timed event.

The Quick Draw pieces were auctioned off after the Saturday coronation, with a portion of the proceeds going to support scholarships at Central Wyoming College. Many repeat participants were set up in the gymnasium, but with 15 minutes left some new Quick Draw artists were starting to feel pinched for time.

"You have to get it done in an hour. That's the stress part," Wyola Tait said as she put the finishing touches on her painting of the Tetons.

Unlike many of her peers, Tait decided to create her painting on Saturday using images in her head instead of a separate print. She chose the tactic after her first turn in the Quick Draw last year.

"I had a picture last time," Tait said, laughing. "But (the painting) never turns out like the picture, so you may as well do what you want."

Across the table from Tait, regular Quick Draw artist Sali Allard had already finished her painting of a birch tree, complete with a carved heart on the trunk.

"It will make a great Valentine's Day present," she said, adding, "I love trees. I paint trees all the time."

Artist Colleen Drury also works regularly with the medium she chose on Saturday -- watercolor. During the week before the Quick Draw, Drury said she did a couple of "practice runs" with her paints, making smaller images of the running horse that took shape on her canvas Saturday.

"I get in the watercolor mood by doing a lot of watercolor paints and paintings," Drury said.

This is her sixth or seventh time at the event, and Drury said she has stuck with watercolor almost every year.

"The first year I used oil, but I like watercolor," Drury said. "It's so spontaneous; you never know what's going to happen. It's exciting, crazy and quick."

After about 10 years at the Quick Draw, Michael Ridge Bear said he has tried to get more creative recently, trading in his easel and canvas for other objects like the vest he decorated with watercolors on Saturday.

"I did a hide one year, and last year I did a shield," he said. "I thought I'd try to be different."

With one minute left in the event, artists were asked to finish up their drawings and get to work framing the art during the evening coronation. Dan and Amy McDonald, the WWWC 2012 royalty, welcomed the crowd and recognized those present who have served as king and queen in the past. Prizes were distributed to winners of the week's events, from the s'mores making competition to the kids' coloring contest.

Finally, the McDonald's welcomed the 2013 king and queen, who were nominated by former royalty and local service organizations.

"We selected the king and queen this year for their superior involvement," Dan McDonald said, inviting the Masons to join him on the stage where they were adorned with heavy winter coats, cowboy hats and a crown for Darla Mason.

The couple knelt on the ground as they were crowned, then knighted by the McDonalds. The ceremony was followed by cheers and applause from the crowd, then a song from past royalty to honor the departing king and queen.

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