On Friday night the Sistersville City Park will be buzzing with activity as the 2012 Relay of Life of Tyler County holds their annual main event. The Relay, which is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and last throughout the night, raises funds to help the American Cancer Society save lives.
Twenty four local teams have been fundraising throughout the year and will actively participate in the Relay for Life of Tyler County on Friday. The "Carnival of Hope" theme will see the City Park turned into a make-shift carnival runway as the local organization celebrates their hard work for the past several months.
Relay will officially open at 6 p.m. with registrations, a corn hole tournament, purse auction, a Road to Recovery car show, and expert balloon artist, Miranda Stokes with "By POPular Demand".
The opening ceremonies for the 2012 Tyler County Relay For Life event will take place Friday at 7 p.m. at Sistersville City Park. Survivors of cancer will walk the first lap of the event to kick off the “Carnival of Hope.”
At 7 p.m. opening ceremonies will begin with an invocation, the VFW color guard and National Anthem by Laken Underwood.
Tracy Stoneking Cornell, a cancer survivor, is scheduled to speak to the gathered crowd at 9 p.m. followed by the always beautiful and moving Luminaria ceremony at about 9:30 p.m.
"After dark, we honor people who have been touched by cancer and remember loved ones lost to the disease during the Luminaria Ceremony," a spokesman said. "Candles are lit inside bags filled with sand, each one bearing the name of a person touched by cancer, and participants often walk a lap in silence."
"This ceremony itself is why a lot of people Relay."
Throughout the evening and night, several musical groups are scheduled to perform, including: Carmen Harman, D.J.; Methodist Church Choir; Bullet's Embrace; Mountain Valley Cornpickers; Colten Settle Band; and Blues Before Sunrise.
Traditional Relay activities will go on throughout the evening as well, such a Road to Recovery Race, Mr. Relay, Survivor/Caregiver laps, etc.
Keeping with the carnival theme of this years' Relay, participating teams will also be holding several activities at their campsite, including a jail lock-up; finger printing for children; many carnival games; a balloon release; face painting; corn hole tournament, T-shirt sales, raffles, and temporary tattoos to name a few.
Many food items such as pepperoni rolls, taco's in a bag, popcorn, grilled items, funnel cakes, carmel apples, will also be available at team campsites.
"There will be something for everyone to do," said president of the Tyler County Relay for Life, Betty McCoy. "We'd like to invite everyone to come and enjoy the good times, participate in the Luminaria ceremony, listen to music, walk a few laps, and help us fight cancer at the same time. Everyone is welcome."
Anyone interested in participating by entertaining on the stage or organizing an activity for participation of Relay goers is asked to contact any committee member or chairman, Betty McCoy at 304-889-2462.
The goal of this year's committee is to raise at least $32,000. Relay and team information can also be found by visiting the local website at: www.relayforlife.org /tylerwv or their Facebook page, Relay for Life of Tyler County 2012.