Quirky ‘bed parade,’ a Thanksgiving tradition, returns to Northern Michigan town

GLEN ARBOR, ME. – A sleigh has nothing on Glen Arbor’s festive holiday beds.

Adorned with colorful Christmas decorations, the beds will roll through the city center again this weekend as part of the city’s popular annual “Bed Parade”, a heartwarming and slightly crazy tradition on the day after Thanksgiving. The event was canceled last year as a pandemic preparedness.

The quirky parade always consists of a handful of decorated beds, each pushed by five to eight people who also wear exaggerated Christmas attire, says Michael Lyons, one of the event’s organizers. Spectators line up along Western Avenue to watch the exhilaration as contestants often struggle to reach the finish line.

“For the three or four blocks that the parade of beds crosses, we’re lucky that the bikes stay on the beds,” says Lyons with a laugh. “It’s hysterical – you’ll see them end up carrying the beds. It’s just a riot. “

The parade is part of the city’s annual Better Than Black Friday shopping event, which invites customers to wear their PJ while visiting the participating small businesses in Glen Arbor’s business district early morning shopping and buying specials.

This year’s parade, which takes place on Friday November 26th, starts at 9 a.m. in front of The Pine Cone restaurant and ends at the post office. Anyone can participate; no registration required. Find out more about the event and how to join the celebrations at visitglenarbor.com/event/bed-parade-2021.

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