On Thursday, Seneca House Skilled Nursing Facility employee Susan Carrigan’s son, Kacey, started the process of “revamping” a bed so that they could participate in the annual Bed Race during Saturday’s Celebrating Our Freedom event in Seneca.

Three teams: Mailes Tree Service, Seneca House and Oxford Chiropractic participated in the race. Each team had five members: four who pushed and one who rode the bed.

This was Seneca House’s first time to participate in the early morning race on Delaware Street.

“It is actually a hospital bed,” said Susan, just moments before the race began. “It still has the handles on it and everything like that. Kacey did the welding and we were not for sure what we were doing for the first year that we done it, so here we are. All of the cables have been snipped so that it doesn’t do anything. Then he put different types of wheels on it – of course these are not hospital wheels.”

The bed frame was decorated with red, white and blue paint, with one seat. Even the Seneca House employees had donned patriotic T-shirts.

As far as how many times they practiced for this race, Susan said “once.”

“We took one practice run up at the facility a while ago [Saturday morning],” she said.
Asked if the practice run was on a downhill slope, she continued.

“Well, it had a little bit of a slope to it, so it was a little scary,” Susan said. “We were already out of breath. We set behind desk usually (during work), we are mainly the supervisors.”

Susan said they opted to participate in the bed race because they wanted to get involved.

“We are just wanting to be involved in the community, again,” she said. “We have a new administrator and we are just kind of excited about it. Seneca is really a family community, and we just want to support the community, as well as the facility. I think that it will be fun. That is what we are here for, it is for fun.”

Just moments before they raced against Oxford Chiropractic, they were ready for the race.

“We just pray that none of us get hurt,” Susan said.

Seneca House came in second during the initial run. But they plan on being back next year.

“Kacey will probably use the same bed and ‘vamp it up just a little bit more,” Susan said.
At 10 a.m., parade participants made their way down Seneca’s Main Street, while onlookers stood by.

One of the onlookers was Cara Schulte, Joplin.

“This is my first year coming to the parade,” Schulte said. “My little niece is going to be in it.”

Schulte said she enjoyed the Saturday morning festivities.

“I think that it is very beneficial so that people can come together with their family, it gives them more time to take away from their busy schedule and get together,” she said.

Later on in the day, Schulte said they planned on have a barbecue and then maybe see the fireworks.

“If we can hold on for that long,” she added.

Other events during the daylong event included food vendors, bounce houses, music and, of course, the fireworks show capping off the event.