SIDNEY — One of Shelby County’s largest fundraisers, Relay for Life, will step off at the Shelby County Fairgrounds at 6 p.m., Friday, Aug. 3.
That’s when opening ceremonies begin for the annual event that supports the American Cancer Society. Cancer survivors and their friends, families and caregivers will meet for 19 hours of food, games, prayers, solemn remembrances and fun, all in the name of raising funds for cancer research. The event’s closing ceremonies will begin at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 4.
Throughout Friday night and Saturday morning, people will walk around the track. That track will never be empty. And booths built by fundraising teams will offer food, crafts, bracelets and mementos for sale.
The Kona Ice truck will be there from 5 to 9 p.m. Other food for sale will be barbecued pulled pork sandwiches, hamburgers, chicken dinners, walking tacos, coney dogs, nachos, breakfast burritos, popcorn, chips, lemon shake-ups, pop and water.
There will be raffles of a hog, quilts and a wooden garden bench.
Children will enjoy two large inflatables and various games.
The relay is open to the public and admission is free. Area residents are welcome to arrive at any time between 5 p.m. Friday and 11:30 a.m. Saturday to attend for a few minutes or a few hours. There will be lots of activities for them to participate in or watch.
A blood drive will begin at 5 p.m. — before the opening ceremonies start — and continue through 9 p.m. in a trailer near the front of the relay area.
The first lap of the relay is always for survivors and their caregivers. It will begin at 6:15 p.m. Games begin at 7 p.m. with Name That Hourly Tune. The popular baked goods auction will also begin at 7 p.m. on the Entertainment Stage.
At 7:30 p.m. in the Junior Fair Building, Pantene Beautiful Lengths will take place.
Relay attendees are encouraged to don costumes for a super hero costume parade to be led by Hero Strong on the track at 8 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for best costumes.
At 9 p.m., the most solemn of the night’s activities takes place. A luminaria ceremony remembers cancer victims who have died. Luminaria cost $10 each and are available before Aug. 3 by calling 937-726-4543. They will also be sold at the relay event until 9 p.m.
While everyone connected with the Relay for Life realizes that cancer is nothing to laugh at, no one stays solemn for long at a relay event. Raising money is just too much fun.
At 10 p.m., there will be a frozen T-shirt contest on the Entertainment Stage. At 10:30 p.m., bingo will begin in the Survivor Tent.
A lip-sync contest on the Entertainment Stage and super hero movies in the Survivor Tent start at 11 p.m.
Timmy G will perform on the Entertainment Stage at the stroke of midnight. That’s also when Family Feud begins in the Beige Building.
Just when participants start to get sleepy, line dancing at 1 a.m. will wake them up and get them moving. The line dancing takes place on the Entertainment Stage.
There will be glo yoga in the infield at 2 a.m., yard games at 3 a.m., a super hero trivia contest at 4 a.m. and a scavenger hunt at 5 a.m.
A pancake breakfast runs from 7 to 9 a.m. in the Beige Building. It is free to survivors who have tickets.
Energetic people can run an obstacle course in the infield at 8:30 a.m. An auction of donated items will begin at 9 a.m. in the Beige Building. Among the things up for bid will be a planter box with hanging pot and light, a limo ride to Cazadores ($100 gift certificate), corn hole boards, seasonal wreaths, an OSU fire ring, quilts, a stocked cooler and a gold pendant necklace set with orange garnet and diamonds made by Allison’s Jewelers.
Children 2 to 10 who take bikes, trikes or big wheels to the event can ride a one-lap race around the track at 9:30 a.m. They must wear helmets.
They’ll be followed by a race of cardboard cars, the Road to Recovery Race, at 10 a.m.
Closing ceremonies then start at 11:30 a.m.
The 2017 Shelby County Relay for Life raised $168,371. This year’s organizers hope to surpass that amount.
They include event chairwomen Patty Wood and Deb Kaufman, Survivor Committee chairwoman Annette Schroerlucke, Entertainment Committee leaders Brenda Barhorst and Darryl Mann and Luminaria Committee chairwomen Brenda Siegel and Erica Presser.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.