Knaresborough's Bed Race is an iconic event in Yorkshire, says chairman of the Knaresborough Lions' organising committee Richard Hall, and it reflects a whole town effort.
"Knaresborough's great bed race is famous internationally and nationally, and has prospered over the 54 years since it was first staged in 1966," said Richard Hall. "For this to happen, it has depended on support from thousands of people in the town and locality.
"For a start, the 90 teams which compete each year have 630 runners and passengers. Then there are the hundreds of children who dress up and parade with the teams. The parade also features local dance groups and marching bands.
"We'll never know to be sure, but there are probably another 1,000 or so people involved in making the bed decorations, stitching the costumes and helping the teams get ready.
"The Lions are supported by many people who help with arrangements on the day: scrutinising the teams and beds, organising the judging and timekeeping, handling catering and helping to prepare the teams for the race itself. There are more than 250 marshals this year. Like the Lions, everyone is a volunteer and gives up their time for the good of the event and the benefit of the funds raised for local charities. Town centre businesses benefit from the trade it brings.
"It's a real community effort and typifies the wonderful community spirit in the town. It makes Knaresborough a warm and welcoming place for visitors and ensures this is an unbeatable day for family entertainment," Richard concluded.
"We hope everyone has a great day on 8 June 2019 and may the weather gods once more smile on us."