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Zelienople prepares for third annual bed race

The Armstrong bed makes its way to a station during last year’s Zelienople Bed Derby. All proceeds go to the Zelienople Area Public Library. Eagle file photo

ZELIENOPLE — The bitter taste of defeat still haunts Seth Prentice, of Zelienople, as he recalls his Armstrong team narrowly losing last year’s Zelienople Bed Derby. He can still picture the moments that cost his team, as he claims, a first-place victory.

“A woman decided to interrupt our boys when they were pushing their cart and tried to buy their bed off of them,” Prentice said hauntingly. “We have video footage of it, and it caused like a 10-second delay.

“That delay was the difference between third place and first place.”

Despite the cruel memory, Prentice and several members of the derby planning committee said they cannot be more excited for what they anticipate will be the biggest race in the event’s three-year history. The Bed Derby is a novel concept where a team of five — four pushers and one “driver” — take a bed and navigate several obstacles in a race for the best time. The team with the best three times then competes again to determine the winner.

All proceeds from the event go to support the Zelienople Area Public Library.

The fundraising event takes place June 27 starting at 4 p.m. on High Street in Zelienople. Prentice said they are expecting 10 to 15 beds to participate in this year’s derby. Registration is still open.

Along with the derby there’s a bed decoration contest where attendees can purchase $1 tickets used to cast a vote for their favorite decked-out bed.

Tom Oliviero — mayor, chief organizer and founder of the derby — said even though this is a fun-filled event for a good cause that brings the community together, there is a sense of competition among the teams.

“A lot of pride goes into this,” he said.

Prentice, derby race director, said it is pretty apparent there’s a spirit of gamesmanship.

“A lot of organizations like the police department, fire department, EMS will be competing and there is absolutely bragging rights involved,” he said.

Derby committee member Jason Sarver said he is looking forward to this event and expects it to draw a big crowd.

“Last year both sides of the street were completely filled,” Sarver said. “It’s just a fun time.”

Teams are welcome to register for $30 and can do so by visiting https://tinyurl.com/ynmwzmnh or by calling the Zelienople Area Public Library at 724-452-9330. Anyone interested in volunteering may also call the library.

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