BAR HARBOR, Maine — For more than a decade, shoppers have been able to enjoy the comfort of home one day a year by wearing their pajamas, bathrobes and slippers while out patronizing local businesses during the annual Early Bird Sale.

This year, they will be able to carry the concept one step further by bringing their beds with them, too.

The Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce plans to add a little competitive zeal to the sale by holding downtown bed races on Saturday, Nov. 22, according to Chris Fogg, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce. Fogg said recently that competitors will have to provide their own bed on wheels and have teams of five people each — four to push the bed and one to ride.

“We’re really excited about it,” Fogg said. “It’s going to be a fun day.”

The event will begin as it usually does with participating downtown businesses opening at 6 a.m. and offering discounts to pajama-clad customers until 9 a.m.

At 10 a.m., there will be a parade for participating bed racers and their beds from the Village Green north on Main Street to Cottage Street, where the races will be held. The races will begin immediately after the parade.

The winners will earn more than just bragging rights and a trophy, according to Fogg.

“The winner gets a $500 gift certificate [to local businesses]. Second place gets a $200 gift certificate,” Fogg said recently. “It’s just another way to celebrate the season.”

Sharon Malm, the Chamber’s events coordinator, said Tuesday that six teams have registered so far, but the registration deadline for competitors has been extended through Thursday, Nov. 20. She said that even if only six teams compete, a good turnout of spectators is expected.

“We’re going to have fun with it no matter what,” Malm said.

Anyone who wants to enter a team to compete in the race can contact Malm at 288-5103. More information on the event can be found at

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....