Boro Bash: Bed Race embedded in Millsboro September festival

MILLSBORO – The Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce is literally “putting to bed” plans for its third September festival.

The Saturday, Sept. 19 event at the Millsboro Little League complex will play to a new name – Boro Bash – with an imbedded Bed Race attraction that organizers hope will bring uniqueness to the festival.

“We want the Bed Race to be a big part of this – a real focal point,” said Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce President Kathy Robinette, noting her internet search has found only a few other similar community-based bed race events along the East Coast, including Pennsylvania, New York state and Florida. “We want to kind of catch people’s imagination: ‘Why should we come to this festival … because they’ve got a bed race.’ Punkin Chunkin has the pumpkins. Sea Witch is all about Halloween. Apple Scrapple … apples and scrapple. What is Millsboro doing? ‘We’re having a Bed Race.’”

And the best part is: participants don’t build the beds

The Greater Millsboro Chamber will provide equally-built beds – two for sure and possibly a spare back-up – for staging two-at-a-time team races down State Street outside the Little League facility.

Teams must be comprised of five persons – four pushers; one rider – and all members must be 18 years of age or older.

Entry fee is $25 per team and participants are to have team costumes/attire.

Prizes include fastest time, funniest/best costume and possibly others. Online registration is available – or will be – on the Millsboro Chamber website –

.There is no particular theme for Bed Race participants, so it’s open season on attire and supporting props.

“If we limit it to a theme they might not like it,” said Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amy Simmons. “Like if Mountaire wanted to do the chickens, or if Dairy Queen wanted to make their (members) look like sodas or ice cream.”

Attempts to incorporate bed races as a feature in the previous two September festivals did not pan out as planned, the reason organizers suspect was merely the task of participants having to build their own bed entry.

“The beds will be provided. Everyone has the same bed to race, so it won’t be like one has the high quality alloy wheels,” said Ms. Robinette. “It is going to be easier for people to participate because all you’ve got to do is dress your team up, and have fun with it.”

The goal, of course, is community involvement.

“We want fire departments to challenge each other. We want community organizations to challenge each other. We want businesses to come up their own fun team,” said Ms. Robinette. “The point is it is going to be a fun thing to be in, but it is also going to be a fun thing to watch. It’s something that even if you are not the one participating it’s going to be hilarious to watch. And it will be equal.”

Depending on number of pre-registrations there may be Bed Race openings the day of the festival.

After its first two years as Millsboro Country Festival with headline attractions – in 2013, actor/musician Ben Jones, who played Cooter on the CBS sitcom Dukes of Hazzard, graced the stage and last year’s featured attraction was the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band – organizers decided it was time for a change.

“Basically, this thing started out as Millsboro Country Festival but we just felt that … we want to open it up a little bit more this year to more different kinds of music and entertainment, and still keeping it as a family-friendly community day,” said Ms. Robinette.

Also factoring into the decision is the over-saturation of other country-themed events and attractions, including marquee acts at the Delaware State Fair, FireFly and a country music weekend planned at the state fairgrounds and their impact on entertainment dollars. All of those events will be held prior to the Millsboro’s festival.

“Exactly,” said Ms. Robinette. “So you want to come up with a clever name that captures the imagination.”

Greater Millsboro Chamber Vice President Kevin Turner coined the catchy Boro Bash name, tying in the connection to several nearby Sussex communities.

“You have Dagsboro, Millsboro and Gumboro; they are all ‘boros,”’ said Ms. Simmons.

As in the previous two years, this year’s festival will feature crafts and food vendors, live stage entertainment and games and activities in a special area coined the Kidz Corner.

Local bands will provide music and entertainment throughout the festival, which runs from noon to 9 p.m.

Popular Delmarva-area bands Over Time and the Bo Dickerson Band are among the stage acts.

Back this year will be the Cornhole Tournament.

And the Redneck Challenge returns. “And it will be new and improved. They are working on some new layouts for that,” said Ms. Simmons.

The itinerary is not yet set as other activities may be forthcoming.

All-day admission is only $5 (wristbands will be issued) with kids 5 and under admitted free. Admission covers all entertainment, games and activities.

There will adult beverages for those of legal age 21 and older: beer, wine – and a “special tea” starting at 3 p.m.

Volunteers to assist with the festival are needed and welcome. Interested persons should contact the GMCOC at 934-6777.

Hoping that the third time is the profitable charm, organizers are banking on the Bed Race being a huge hit and thousands of folks coming out to enjoy full day of fun, food, music and activities.

“We want to get it to the point where there is some proceeds and we can give back to the community, and the people that help put it on  like the Little League; obviously we use their fields we want them to benefit from it,” Ms. Robinette said. “It’s going to benefit this community, first and foremost.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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