Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Bed Races Return

Some maintain that the bed races in Hudson go back farther than the 1980s, when, for a few years, they were organized by Dick Tracy, then youth director. 

Photo: Paul Abitabile
Research undertaken to find evidence of earlier bed races in Hudson has so far found none, but it has uncovered some interesting information about bed races. In 1961, the first ever floating bed races took place on the James River in Richmond, Virginia. It was predicted at the time that floating bed races "could replace phone booth stuffing and long distance bed pushing in the hearts of college men everywhere." That apparently didn't happen. What did happen, in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, was that bed races moved beyond college fraternity high jinks and became, along with such things as pancake-eating contests, tractor-pulling contests, and square dances in Jeeps, a zany feature of fairs and community events, meant both to entertain locals and attract tourists. In 1978, Bolton Landing, on Lake George, was reportedly "fast becoming known for its Bed Races and Regatta."

The Hudson Bed Races were revived briefly in the early years of the 21st century. This picture is from the 2002 bed races. The bed is the foreground was designed by Lisa Durfee.

Last year, the Hudson Bed Races were revived once again, and this year, the event returns for its second annual run.

In 2017, the Hudson Bed Races will take place on Saturday, September 23, at 3 p.m. Because of complaints from merchants about one more event that shut down Warren Street on a fair weather Saturday, the course of the race is moving from Warren Street to Front Street. The beds will assemble at the entrance to Promenade Hill, and the race will go south down Front Street, ending, conveniently for those participants who will need to quench their thirst, at the Half Moon.

To find out more about this year's bed races, to register a bed (and a team), learn the rules and regulations, to or to become a sponsor of the event, go to www.hudsonraceraces.com.

1 comment:

  1. I think those beds are going to need brakes if they want to stop at Half Moon!