2011-02-19 / News

Bed races to be part of Thornville Bicentennial celebration

By Scott Rawdon

THORNVILLE – Ladies and gentlemen, start your beds.

Snow may still be falling, but Thornville residents are already planning for July 3, Thornville’s bicentennial, and the village’s first-ever bed race.

“We want it to be a fun activity,” said Thornville Village Council member and bicentennial committee chair Dale Brussee. He said he wanted to bring something fun and unique to the celebration, and he’s sure that bed races will fit the bill. Brussee said bed races are common in New England and some may remember bed races in Thornville during the 1960s.

Brussee wants to begin advertising the races as early as possible to ensure strong participation. Anyone wanting to register can do so online at Thornville.us. Racers may also apply at the Thornville Village Offices. “We want to get a lot of participants,” said Brussee.

Here’s how it works:

Participants need to create a mobile bed, full sized with a standard full size mattress (which can be reduced two inches if necessary). The bed must use a matching headboard and footboard from a full sized bed, and a fitted sheet and pillow are required. The frame can be any material and the maximum size of each of the four wheels (which can be fixed or swiveled) is six inches. Decorated or theme beds are strongly encouraged.

Each bed has a six-person team including four people to push or pull the bed, one female rider, and an alternate. The bed passenger must wear protective headgear during the race.

Three beds per heat, the course is a 1,500 feet stretch of Thornhill Drive, near the park. It’s not flat and includes three hairpin turns. Brussee said there are four bed classes-”any age” class, over 40 years old, high school bragging rights class, and corporate bragging rights class.

There’s a sign-up fee of $25 per bed until April 2, when the sign-up fee increases to $40. At the end of the race, first, second and third place “any age” and “over 40 years old” class winners all receive a percentage of the sign-up fee collected, so Brussee said it’s to everyone’s advantage to have as many contestants as possible. High schools and organizations such as fire or police departments that enter as representatives of their organization are not eligible for prize money.

Brussee encouraged participants to decorate their beds as vividly as possible, because the beds will be judged. “Use your imagination,” he said.

Of course, the bed race isn’t the only activity for Thornville’s bicentennial. Brussee said July 3, Sunday, begins with a church service at 9 a.m., possibly followed by a Thornville/ Thorn Township Fire Department sponsored lunch at the shelter house. The Lions Club is sponsoring a chicken dinner at 5 p.m. The day’s activities begin at 1 p.m. with the bed race concluding at 6 or 7 p.m. Brussee said he didn’t want the bicentennial activities to interfere with local fireworks displays.

Mayor Beth Patrick said the village is still looking for historic photos of Thornville, which the village can copy and return to their owners. Also, the village is looking for arts and craft vendors for the bicentennial celebration. “It’s first come, first serve,” she said. The celebration will include a program for local dignitaries at 2 p.m., free all day swimming at the Thornville pool, possibly a dog show and a cutest baby contest, and the village is looking for musical acts.

Brussee said the village needs organizations to take over some of these activities. He said the village continues to sell bicentennial commemorative pottery with a rendering of the old Thornville school. He said 100 pieces are available, and once they’re gone, they’re gone.

Brussee added that the bicentennial celebration wouldn’t interfere with the Thorn Dunker. “It’ll be nice, simple day,” he said.

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