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Return of the rolling beds

Chingawassa Days Bed Races
back after a year off

Staff writer

Awakened from a year of slumber, the Chingawassa Days Bed Races are back by popular demand.

Davey Hett, longtime Chinga planning committee member, said everyone on the committee wanted to see it return after last year’s absence.

“I think people didn’t want to see something die, because it reflected back on the festival as a whole,” Hett said. “Everybody likes to see their youth compete.”

According to Chinga planning committee member Margo Yates, the bed races were trimmed from last year’s events because of a question in public interest.

“I was glad to hear people wanted it again,” Yates said. “It’s such a great thing to do on Main St., but the challenge always was that people didn’t sign up ahead of time.”

This year’s bed race announcer Torey Hett has been a contestant and an event organizer in the past. For him, recruiting youth for the event wasn’t always easy.

“Kids just don’t realize what a good time it is to push a bed down the street with your friends,” Torey said.

Yates said finding businesses to sponsor events was a challenge in previous years, however, the Chinga planning committee didn’t have a problem finding a bed race sponsor this year.

Farm Bureau Financial Services in Marion stepped up with a plan to generate more participation.

“Registration is free,” Emma Tajchman, office manager at Farm Bureau, said. “People who register by Friday will also get a free bed race T-shirt.”

Agent Coleen Koop said sponsoring the event was a great way for the Farm Bureau crew to be involved in the community.

Koop, Tajchman, and agent Andrew Stone also plan remind citizens of the event closer to the festival.

To sweeten the pot, the first place team will be awarded $100, second place will get $50, and third place can expect $25.

Teams are strongly encouraged to wear costumes. The team with the best costumes will receive $100.

Teams should consist of four pushers and one driver. They may provide their own beds, but beds will be available at the time of the race for teams who don’t have one.

“It’s such a fun event that brings so many different community groups together,” Tajchman said. “It’s great for kids and adults, participants and spectators.”

Bed racers should plan to start at 9 a.m. June 6 on Main St. in Marion.

For questions, call (620) 382-3350. For complete rules, bed specifications and requirements, as well as to register, visit www.chingawassadays.com.

Last modified May 21, 2015

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