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Saturday, December 14, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bed races, parade kick off annual Valleyfest

It’s down to the wire for 10 teams of bed racers pumping up tires and tightening the last wing nuts before Friday evening’s bed races – the official kickoff for Valleyfest.

Teams have been busy applying WD-40 to squeaky parts and designing costumes for the entire team.

Everyone hopes that come starting time, there’s nothing left to do but run and push.

“The beds race 500 feet east then perform a rotational drill, and race 500 feet back,” said Alene Lindstrand from Liberty Lake Lions Club, which sponsors the races together with Spokane Valley Lions Club.

The rotation involves turning the bed around and switching the person riding on the bed with someone who’s been pushing.

“Then they race back to the start line,” Lindstrand said.

The races are part of a fundraiser for the Lions Clubs and it includes an opportunity for everyone to carbo-load at a $10 spaghetti dinner at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Good Samaritan Community Center, 17121 E. Eighth Ave.

Lindstrand said problems with wheels are common. The race is too short to allow for pit stops, so if a team breaks down it’s likely out of the race.

Wendy Van Orman, former mayor of Liberty Lake and the woman who came up with the idea of bed races in 2012, recalled one year when the wheels came off one side of a bed about 200 feet into the race.

“The team members of the Sharp Wright Boxing Club team picked up the side of the bed and kept running all the way to the end of the race,” Van Orman wrote in an email. “That bed racer came blazing through to the finish line as it was literally smoking.”

The Hearts of Gold Parade kicks off at 7:30 p.m. This year’s grand marshals are newly appointed Spokane Valley police Chief Mark Werner and Phillip Tyler, president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP.

Dozens of local businesses, nonprofit organizations, firefighters and police officers participate in the parade, which also features Miss Spokane Valley royalty.

Saturday and Sunday features nonstop events spanning from the Step Up for Downs Syndrome Walk Saturday at 9 a.m. to a car show on Saturday afternoon, plus a variety of children’s activities throughout the day.

Live music Saturday and Sunday includes oldies rock band Men in the Making, 5 p.m. Saturday, and The Portatos Accordion Band, 3 p.m. Sunday.

Saturday at 7:30 p.m. “The Good Dinosaur” will be shown outdoors at Mirabeau Point Park.

Valleyfest winds down with a family bike ride sponsored by The Bike Hub on Sunday at noon and live music continuing until 4 p.m.

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