Twenty-four teams will converge on the Highland County Fairgrounds this weekend hoping the public will join them for the annual Relay For Life that starts Friday evening and runs through the night into Saturday morning.
“The way I describe it to people is that the term relay is misleading. It’s more of a carnival,” said Maya Scott, the relay’s entertainment chairman. “There’s food, games, there will be face-painting, auctions, just all kinds of things you can do. Plus you can see relay teams have fun and make fools of themselves trying to keep each other up all night long.”
There is a cancer survivors dinner that’s been moved up to 5 p.m. this year, but for the public the relay begins with opening ceremonies at 6 p.m., which will include a release of doves, a presentation by local cancer survivor Kim Abbott, a survivors lap, and more.
The goal when Highland County Relay For Life kicked off its 2015 season several months ago was to raise $86,000. Scott said that at its last meeting the local relay was already at the $48,000 raised mark, so she’s hopeful the goal will be met or surpassed.
While the relay teams raise money throughout the year, the public can help this weekend by visiting the fairgrounds and purchasing food, playing games or participating in one of two auctions.
There will be live auction at 8 p.m. Friday and a silent auction that runs from 6 p.m. to midnight. Scott said the silent auction winners will be notified around noon Saturday.
The rest of the events run throughout the night, and Scott will be the one on stage trying to keep everyone wake, with the help of several entertaining events. As the night transitions to morning, Scott said several of the teams, composed of two to 20-plus people, will switch from whatever food they’ve been selling to making breakfast.
“The longer you stay the crazier it gets and the more fun we have,” Scott said.
Some of the events on this year’s schedule include:
• 7:15 p.m. – Veterans Celebration – Service members are invited to take a lap alone while patriotic music plays. The teams will line the track to honor them for their service.
• 7:30 p.m. – Teams can dress a member as a New Year’s baby of 1980 and judges will pick a winner.
• 9:30 p.m. – Luminaries will be lit in honor of lost loved ones.
• 10:30 p.m. – Teams members dress as their favorite super hero.
• 11 p.m. – Miss Relay 1980 – Teams will have a male dress as a female. The “girls” will walk a lap to raise money and judges will pick a winner.
• Midnight – 1980s Cruising – Teams will see how many members they can pack in a car.
• 1 a.m. – 1980s Games – There will be live board and arcade games.
• 1:30 a.m. – 1980s Lip Syncing – Teams will lip sync to 1980s tunes as they walk laps. Dancing and costumes are encouraged.
• 2:30 a.m. – Big Hair Contest.
• 3:30 a.m. – 1980s Wedding – Teams will have 20 minutes to make a wedding dress and tuxedo from items like duct tape, newspapers and toilet paper. The audience will pick a winner.
• 4:30 a.m. – Jazzersize lap to jazz everyone up.
• 5 a.m. – 1980s Trivial Pursuit.
• 5:30 a.m. – 1980s Movies Costume Contest – Teams are encouraged to dress up as their favorite 1980s movie character.
• 6 a.m. – Teams will play Simon Says.
• 6:30 a.m. – Grease Lap – A contest to see who can dress as the best “Grease” character.
• 7 a.m. – Name that tune contest in teams of two.
The morning will continue with a bra contest (bras must be worn over a shirt), makeup contest, Double Dare contest, and a frozen T-shirt contest where teams of two to six will try to pull apart frozen T-shirts and wear them around 9:45 a.m.
Closing ceremonies are at noon.
“Everything is up and running all night long,” Scott said. “Some people sleep, but very few.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.