"Experience of a lifetime:" Great Knaresborough Bed Race set to return

Thousands are set to descend on Knaresborough next Saturday for the annual Great Knaresborough Bed Race

90 teams have been selected by public lottery to take part in this year's race

Between 24,000 and 30,000 people are expected for the race, which this year has the theme of a Night at the Theatre. The event next Saturday (June 9) starts in the grounds of Knaresborough Castle.

Gathering in costume and with their displays inspired by classic plays, musicals or operas, 90 teams will be on show from 9am.

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Once winners of the Best Dressed Bed and other accolades are crowned at midday, a grand parade will make its way through the town.

90 teams have been selected by public lottery to take part in this year's race

Starting from Castlegate at 1pm, floats, musicians and dancers will join the procession to Conygham Hall, where the race begins at 3pm.

Nigel Perry, the secretary of the Knaresborough Lions, which organises the Bed Race said: “We are expecting some spectacular displays and fancy dress. We usually have a good show and the support is always fantastic, but this time might be one of the best. The scope of the theme means there is so much for people to pick from. “There are going to be gondoliers, pirates and all the broad offerings of the theatre, musicals and opera. “

He added: “The day is going to be a tremendous, thanks to the effort of everyone involved. It is a really important event for the town and for all of North Yorkshire.”The day is an experience of a lifetime for those taking part said Mr Perry, who encourages visitors to find a spot either on the riverbank or in the fields at Conygham Hall where a large video screen will be set up showing the race.

He said: “For me I believe there are two things that people need to do before they die. One is make sure they see Naples, and the other is to make sure they are there for the moment in the bed race when people are crossing the river. They are exhausted, hot and diving into icy water. “You have to remember as well that it is a time trail. The fastest are going up a dry river bank when they climb out, the other teams are having to climb up wet banking. It is incredible to watch.”He added: “I would say get onto the High Street or the Market after the Castle, so they can get a good view of the parade. “Then make your way down to Conygham Hall, get to the river bank or find yourself a spot to watch the big screen projecting it all. It is the experience of a lifetime.”