Bed Races on Beacon: Teams set to wet the bed

Sunday’s Bed Races on Beacon teams will break out the water guns.

The BNI team in last year’s Bed Races on Beacon in Sidney. Eighteen teams are back again this year for round two.

From among the entries in this year’s Bed Races on Beacon this weekend, there shall emerge a new victor.

Eighteen teams will be lining up on Sidney’s Beacon Avenue on Sunday, Aug. 16 for the second annual event — a fundraiser for palliative care programs through the Rest Haven Foundation. With last year’s bed races winner, the Town of Sidney, not fielding a team this time out, others are looking hungrily at being the fastest across the finish line.

Of course, many of the teams are coming out just for fun — and to dress up in public.

To see the costumes and props planned this year, organizer and Foundation Executive Director Brenda Hennigar says people are just going to have to come out and line the street.

“They are doing a really good job keeping things under their hats,” she said about the teams’ efforts to hide their plans until the day of the races.

“People can, however, expect to hear music, see some amazing hats,” Hennigar continued.

“So, be prepared to come out and cheer for your favourites, because they will be looking for crowd     participation.”

She also warns that spectators might get wet — as water guns and water balloons are not uncommon. The same goes for the race participants, she added, as people in the crowd during last year’s races were not afraid to reciprocate.

Among the 18 teams, the same as last year, are new entries. BC Ferries, Houle Electric, Bayshore Health, Beacon Community Services and the Sidney BIA.

Last year’s runners-up — TD Canada Trust — will be eyeing the race title now that the team they came up short against last summer will not be back.

Hennigar adds that the team plans to put out TD Comfort Lounges for the crowd.

As well, Panorama Recreation will have its Youth Crew and Kid Zones inflatables and activities available for children.

This year, event sponsor 100.3 The Q radio station is giving away a ride in bed with one of their on-air personalities.

Get In The Bed With Ed, features personality Ed Bain and a lucky listener in a featured ride down Beacon Avenue. Hennigar added there’s word that another special race will see the Sidney and North Saanich fire departments square off for bragging rights.

The Bed Races on Beacon are all about the teams currying the favour of the fans — and of the judges. Teams are marked on their costumes and enthusiasm and they are encouraged to make their bribes for better scores.

Hennigar said the spirit of the event is all about having fun — for some teams it’ll come in the costumes, for others it’s a team-building exercise and for others, it’s all about winning the race.

Top teams will earn prizes, from $500 in prizes from the Pier Hotel, packages from IMAX Victoria and more.

Hennigar said each team had to pay an entry fee of $500 and has the opportunity to fundraise more — for the right to a head start.

The goal is to meet last year’s total of around $15,000 for palliative care services and programs, provided through the Foundation to Sidney’s Rest Haven Lodge seniors living facility.

Bed Races on Beacon get under way at noon this Sunday, Aug. 16 with a parade of champions and costume contest. The races themselves start at around 1 p.m. and are expected to be complete at 3:30 p.m.

Hennigar encourages people to come early to get the prime on-street real estate to watch the shenanigans.