South Florida bunks up for Bed Races

August 19, 2012 by  

Residents of Coconut Grove in south Miami are readying for one of America’s most quirky and unique events. Bed Races 2012 is set for the afternoon of September 2.

This wacky and exciting event entails teams of four “bed runners” pushing wheeled beds as fast as they can through the Coconut Grove streets, as a fifth team member lies in bed. While some teams try exclusively to win the race, others are more interested in being crowned creative champions. Many of the beds, which are reminiscent of floats in a parade, are decked out in amusing themes, and prizes are awarded for theme, décor, and speed.

The event has been going strong since 2009. Past competitors have included a team, all of them men, decked out in French made costumes while another popular and successful team dressed as pirates and propped up a skull and crossed bone flag on their bed. Each year the event is also attended by a surprise ‘celebrity field marshal’, including auto racing champion Tony Kanaan in 2010 and native Miami rapper Vanilla Ice in 2011.

Schools, businesses, churches, and other organizations often enter their own teams and a local group of firefighters are always a favorite to take home a prize. Local businesses, including printing companies from Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere, can enjoy near free promotion from the event, which is expected to draw some 30,000 onlookers. A good deal of poster printing and banner printing will also be involved in event preparation.