McCullough Field at Eighth and Montgomery streets will begin filling with cancer survivors, family members and supporters at noon on Saturday, June 7 for the overnight Relay for Life of Laurel. This year's theme is "Wish Upon a Star," and about 40 relay teams will set up and decorate their campsites during daylight hours.
Relay co-chairwoman Mandi Phillips said that decorating the campsites and wearing costumes is optional. Judges will choose one to receive the Best Campsite Award.
Phillips also said she's excited about the Disney and Pixar themes teams are using based on this year's motif, such as "Frozen," "Alice in Wonderland," and "The Lion King."
Robin Brecht said his team's theme is "Super Heroes Squad — Defenders of Birthdays," and he looks forward to wearing his cape and mask.
Refreshments, a silent auction, basket raffles, a 50/50 raffle and "make-a-wish" balloons and luminaries will be available for purchase throughout the day.
Laurel bakery Cakes Plus is donating a cake to the survivor tent, where gift bags and T-shirts will be passed out at check-in.
The opening ceremony begins at 5 p.m., followed by a survivor and caregiver ceremony and lap; the Parade of Teams; a lap for committee members and team captains; campsite judging; a Road to Recovery parade of cars; balloon release; and a Mr. Relay Contest.
About 9 p.m., folks dressed in celestial wings and ordinary earthbound humans will carry pictures of their loved ones around the track during the Angel Lap, also called "Why I Relay."
At about 9:30 p.m., the luminary ceremony will light the field, representing remembrance and hope, followed by an optional Mass at Pallotti Chapel on St. Mary's Place.
Music by DJ Rob, themed laps, competitions and a variety of wild and fun activities — including the popular 1970s Soul Train started in 2011 that has become a tradition — will run nonstop through the night until the Fight Back/Purple Passion Closing Ceremony ends the party at 6 a.m. Sunday, June 8.