It just might be one of the zaniest – yet awe-inspiring – displays of speed, agility and power ever devised – and it’s a time-honoured tradition in Cloverdale.
Thursday (May 15) marks the 37th annual Cloverdale Bed Races, where teams race beds on wheels in the historic town centre – all for bragging rights and a one-of-a-kind trophy.
The coveted Bed Pan Trophy, for instance, is shaped like a stainless steel hospital bed pan.
Turkey’s Party Makers will be back to defend their title – last year marked the fourth bedpan in a row for the seemingly unbeatable team, which enjoys a good-natured rivalry with The Vault Restaurant.
The races are traditionally split into four divisions: men, women, media and hospitality. There are also prizes for best dressed – not as easy as it sounds. Previous winners have included the Surrey Museum (which have dressed as a band of pirates, complete with pirate ship, and astronauts toting a silvery rocket ship) and the City of Surrey, who last year wowed the crowd with sheer colour and team spirit.
New this year will be a mixed division with men and women. Teams in that category will be competing for the all-new Centre of the Universe trophy, named in recognition of the late Bill Reid, one of Cloverdale’s – and Surrey’s – biggest boosters and former executive director of the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce, which co-sponsors many community events with the Cloverdale BIA.
“It’s an homage to Bill,” says Paul Orazietti of the Cloverdale BIA, who worked closely with Reid, a long-time friend and former tourism minister.
Teams consist of six pushers – each running a stripped-down bed frame on wheels in heats along 176A Street between 57A and 58 Avenue. The challenge attracts everyone from sports teams, church groups and restaurant staff to civil servants and educators to see who’s fastest.
Teams use one of their own beds, or use a loaner. A “next generation bed” built by Lord Tweedsmuir will be unveiled at this year’s races, getting underway at 6:15 p.m., after the colourful children’s decorated bike parade, and a demonstration beginning at 5:45 p.m. (weather permitting) by competitors from the World Round-Up Freestyle Skateboard Competition, running May 16-19 at the Cloverdale Rodeo, inside the Cloverdale Curling Club.
Tykes on bikes
Children can win one of three new bikes at the Kids Decorated Bike Parade, held just before the annual Cloverdale Bed Races.
Participants enter three age categories: 5 and under, ages 6 to 10 and 11 and up.
Winners are selected by random draw. There’s also a special prize for the most creative entry. Rider costumes are encouraged.
The bike parade starts at 6 p.m. at 176A Street and 57A Avenue, next to Cloverdale Pharmasave. The parade is presented by the Cloverdale BIA and the Cloverdale chamber of Commerce, along with sponsors. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.cloverdale.bc.ca, or phone 604-574-9802.
Tricycle races at the Legion
After the races, head on over to the Cloverdale Legion, where you can grab a bite, quench your thirst, and take part in another skill-testing Rodeo challenge (ages 19 and up).
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 6 has a busy May long weekend planned, starting with the annual Tricycle Race, also on Thursday, May 15.
Practice runs start at 5 p.m., with registration at 6 p.m. and races begin at 7 p.m.
Three people per team, with prizes for the top three teams. There’s no entry fee. The Cloverdale Legion is located at 17567 57 Avenue.
The branch is hosting pancake breakfasts throughout Rodeo weekend, and are planning raffles, 50/50 draws and a prize raffle for BBQs.