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Posted: 08/28/13

Bed Races, Night Parade
channel tooth fairy

Observer Staff Writer

      The tooth fairy better bring a jet pack if she hopes to catch up to the pillows flying down Main Street this Sunday.
       The annual Bed Races, Romeo Lions Charity Car Cruise and Mummer's Parade will take over Main Street at 7 p.m. on Sept. 1 for one of the craziest nights of the 82nd Peach Festival.
       Don and Cindy Hook, co-coordinators of the night's events, said the evening is one of the more popular attractions of the festival, drawing hundreds of people that line Main Street.
       "If you're interested in coming, get there early," Cindy said. "The streets get clogged and you can't get there."
       The night begins with the bed races, where teams push customized beds down Main Street and perform goofy tasks before crossing the finish line. Last year's races had eight beds vying to see who could be the fastest.
       Trophies are awarded to the quickest teams in three categories: Kiwanis (service organizations), business and open. All beds are eligible to win best costume and judge's choice.
       Race and Mummer's Parade participants are asked to follow a theme when decorating their beds, floats or picking costumes. This year's theme is "tooth fairy," with local dentists serving as judges.
       Cindy said anyone wishing to enter the races or Mummer's Parade can do so the night of the event without having to register or pay any fees. She said this allows people to come in at the last second.
       "If you try to set it up ahead you don't get what you set up ahead anyway because a wheel falls off a bed or else it's too hot or somebody has too much to drink the night before," she said with a laugh.
       Bed racers will meet on Newberry Street between 6 p.m. to 6:55 p.m., with the only stipulation being that beds cannot be motorized.
       Immediately proceeding the races is the car cruise. Participants can pay $10 for a placard to be a part of the cruise, with proceeds benefiting the Romeo Kids Foundation. This year's cruise is sponsored by Heidebreicht Chevrolet.
       Participants will gather in the parking lot of the former Kmart on Van Dyke north of 30 Mile Road. Don said those who pay for a placard will be placed in the VIP lane and enter the parade first.
       The night ends with the Mummer's Parade. Glowing floats, marching bands, the Peach Queen and a group wearing chicken costumes have been past participants in the wacky parade.
       Trophies will be awarded for the best entries in business, school, group, organization and judge's choice. Parade entries are to meet before 7 p.m. on Pleasant Street.
       "We cannot plan ahead at all, it's all done at the very last second," Cindy said.
       After nearly a decade of organizing the chaos, the Hooks said they plan to step down after this year. They said they will help transition the new coordinators next year, but in 2015 will call it a night.
       "We think it's time for some fresh ideas," Don said. "It's not so much that we're tired of it, we just think there should be a turnover."
       Those interested in volunteering or seeking more information can call Don or Cindy at (586) 752-7534.

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