The Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair may have been cancelled this year, but the bed races are still a go.
Billed as the 43rd Annual Bed Races, the running of the beds will take place just ahead of May long weekend on Thursday, May 19. The Cloverdale BIA, the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce, and the Cloverdale Rodeo Association are co-hosting the event.
Paul Orazietti, executive director for the Cloverdale BIA, said everyone was itching to do something after finding out first the rodeo and then the Country Fair were cancelled.
“There was a lot of interest and a lot of desire to put the bed races on,” said Orazietti. “The Rodeo (Association) board was having kittens over the cancellation of the Rodeo and wanted to do something for the folks around here, so putting it on was a bit of a no-brainer.”
Orazietti said there won’t be any skateboarders, or a chilli cook off, or a pancake breakfast; those will return next year. He said winners of the bed races this year will still receive their traditional pack of free rodeo tickets, but that will be for next year’s rodeo.
“A lot of this right now is to get the event going and to open things back up and to offer some semblance of normalcy for everyone.”
Orazietti said after the Country Fair was cancelled, he heard from a lot of business owners and residents that were desperately hoping for some kind of event to take place.
“They’ve been saying they want an event, any event,” noted Orazietti. “And everyone has been quite happy to hear something is coming up and it’s something that holds a place in the hearts of the people in this community.”
As part of the Thursday night event, there will also be a bike parade for kids beforehand.
“It’s a traditional western theme, but it’s a bit like Halloween. Kids will dress up in a variety of costumes,” he added. “There will be prizes for the kids too.”
The bed races will roll on 176A Street between 57th Avenue and 58th Avenue.
Organisers are looking for entrants in several categories: mens, ladies, mixed, high school boys, and high school girls. Entry fees range from $50 to $60 per team.
Orazietti said they only have one team signed up right now as he only opened up registrations April 5.
“We’ve had inquiries from several teams, but the RCMP signed up first,” explained Orazietti. “Word is, they want to have a grudge match with the SPS, so there’s that. And we also have interest from the local firehall. They used to race all the time.”
The kids’ bike parade starts at 6 p.m. with registration opening at 5 p.m., while the bed races roll from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m.
Orazietti said they are also looking for vendors and exhibitors and anyone who’s interested can contact the BIA or Chamber for more details.
“We’ll have a bit of everything alongside 176A. There will be a few different vendors, balloon tying and face painting for the kids, things in the parking lot.”
He added this year’s event will likely be smaller than bed races in past years, but he’s not discounting a larger event if there are enough sign ups.
“People want to do things,” he said. “Right now, we’re just starting to prepare to go back to normal. But we’re up for this.”
To enter a team in the race, or to sign up as a vendor, Orazietti said people can call or email them BIA or the Chamber.
The Chamber can be reached by calling 604-574-9802, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The BIA can be reached by calling 604-576-3155, or emailing email@example.com.