With its wings flapping, the large cardboard chicken got about a third of the way down the tubing slope when disaster struck.
The bird turned slightly to the left and hit a snow bank, sending snow spraying and spilling at least one of its yellow clothing-clad passengers onto the snow.
In this case, form did not follow function as employees of York Container rode their cardboard creation dubbed "Fowl Play" part of the way down the tubing hill during the cardboard derby at Roundtop Mountain Resort in Warrington Township on Sunday.
"This year it's for the looks," said Ted DeCello. Next year it'll be about winning, he added.
Employees of the Springettsbury Township business had considered taking part in the derby in the past, but there never seemed to be enough time to put together a sledge, said Steve Tansey, the company's president and chief operating officer.
That was until this year. Employees designed and built the cardboard chicken, he said.
Growing: The team was one of more than 60 to take part in the annual derby.
With a theme of Barnyard Bonanza, teams of up to five members each built vehicles using only cardboard, glue, tape, string and paint that were then navigated down the tubing runs.
Teams were judged on creativity and team spirit before racing down the slopes. Some derby racers made it all the way down the hill, while others crashed or their creations fall apart on their run.
The derby has grown to be one of the resort's largest and most popular events, said Chris Dudding, resort spokesman.
Tipper: This was the first year that the youth group at Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church in Dover took part in the derby.
The group put up two teams, one of which built a cow that was on its back and had one blue eye and one green eye. The sled was aptly named Tipper.
"So it's crazy after being tipped upside down," said Madi Strain, 15, of why it has two different color eyes.
The teens met at the 9 N. Main St. church once a week after school and after Sunday school to build the cow. Next year they may have some additional competition on their hands.
Adult members of the congregation will likely build their contraptions for the race, said Stacey Scholl, the assistant adult leader of the group.
With pink painted latex gloves to look like udders taped to their helmets, the team of four teens rode the cow the entire length of the slope, making it to the bottom.
But the run didn't go off without a hitch. One of the sides started to fall, off but the team was able to keep the craft together, said Cameron Miller, 16.
"Once you got going, it was sturdy," said Kelsey Kraft, 14.
- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.