The stage is set for the biggest day in Knaresborough’s year as final preparations are made for the 48th Great Knaresborough Bed Race.
Meticulous planning by the event’s dedicated volunteer organisers from Knaresborough Lions Club is drawing to a close and the town is ready for the influx of thousands of spectators and competitors.
After 2012’s last minute worries about bad weather and dangerously high river water levels, they are hoping for better luck this year.
Teams’ coordinator John Dickson said last year’s problems were down to the wettest spring he could remember.
“On the day before Bed Race the river was above its safety level and we thought we would have to abandon the crossing. But luck and what we call ‘Bed Race Weather’ broke out and the rain stopped, the river dropped a foot and the current calmed down.
“This year things are different. Although it has been a chilly spring there hasn’t been anything like the same amount of rain. While we don’t want to pre-judge conditions on June 8 the river crossing should be okay.
“As we said last year, the Bed Race will be held whatever happens, come hell or high water.”
Ripon Runners will be defending their historic double men’s and ladies’ win. The Lido Loonies will be aiming to hold on to the Best Dressed Bed title for the third year running with their entry for this year’s Myths and Legends theme.
The event is supported by many local businesses and organisers have thanked sponsors for their vital support.
Lions president Nigel Perry said: “Proctor and Gamble helped save the event when it needed to bring in professional services to close the roads. Piccadilly Motors has been our longest backer.
“HACS plays a vital role in preparation of the site, and providing equipment, barriers, and staff on the day.
“G H Brooks and Belzona have stood by us to help put on what we hope will be another fabulous day, and we are particularly honoured to welcome our latest sponsors, CNG and Yorkshire Linen.
Nigel went on to thank supporters GSPK, Knaresborough Technology Park and Eddie Brown Tours; the Inter Group; Speedy; Harrogate Borough Council; Knaresborough Town Council; North Yorkshire Highways Authority; St John Ambulance; North Yorkshire Police and British Transport Police for their help.
Arrangements for Bed Race Day include a free park and ride service from Knaresborough Technology Park, a big screen showing footage of the action in Conyngham Hall Grounds, along with stalls and entertainments including a Change a Duvet competition with Yorkshire Linen.
More information is available at www.knaresborough.co.uk/bedrace.