This longstanding opening tradition of the Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival has returned after taking a year off.On Friday, July 30, at 6 p.m., about 16 teams of bed racers will be speeding down Cleveland Avenue in a bid to see which group can navigate a series of obstacles while still being fastest in bed.
It's a tradition in Squamish that has gone hand-in-hand with the opening of the world-famous loggers sports event."We're stoked to pull something together, albeit last minute," said Jacqulin McNicol, president of Squamish Days.
McNicol said she and bed race organizer Russ Robertson had been watching the provincial regulations on events for the last while.When the province started loosening restrictions in June, McNicol and Robertson, a local veteran and member of the Legion who's been organizing the races since 2016, started brainstorming ideas.
"We can't do the full show, but what can we do?" McNicol recalled."And Russ and I are always chatting, so we're like, 'Hey, bed races! Can we do it?'"
They decided they could.Shortly after, they began reaching out to volunteers, the municipality and various teams.
"The bed races are one of the longest-running events of our festival. They started around 1976," McNicol said.It was an event that complemented a downtown pajama night event, where stores would open late and people could stay up and shop, she said.
That later turned into a neon night in the 1980s, but the bed races were still a part of that."The bed races, they mean so much to Squamish Days, and you look at all the old footage and the photos from the history of our festival, and it's an awesome event. It brings people together, it brings businesses, it's a friendly competition, and we're just so happy that the Legion stepped forward."
Normally, there'd be a whole year to plan, so volunteers have been doing everything they can to quickly spread word that the bed races are happening."We want people to just remember what it was like to gather downtown and celebrate our community," McNicol said.
As for the rest of the Squamish Days festival, she said to stay tuned.Organizers are hoping to have at least some events occur by early this fall.