Howard County's Relay for Life, an annual event that honors cancer survivors and raises money for the American Cancer Society, will be held Friday and Saturday at Hammond High School in Columbia.
This year's theme is "Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back."
Teams collect pledges, camp out and take turns walking or running around the track all night.
Opening ceremonies are to start at 6:30 p.m. Friday, followed by a Survivors' Lap, when cancer survivors walk around the track, cheered by families and friends.
Children to age 14 participate in a Kids' Walk from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday; those who raise at least $35 will receive a relay T-shirt.
Candles in sand-filled paper bags are lighted to honor survivors and those who died of cancer in a Luminary Ceremony that is set to begin at dusk.
A silent auction is planned for Friday, and Melissa Simmens, a Columbia marathon runner, will run for 12 consecutive hours and speak at a Fight Back Closing Ceremony at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
A new Extreme Relayer Club encourages its members to commit to run for 20 minutes each hour and raise at least $500.
This year's relay will also add "themed laps" through the night: an Island Beach Party (dress for the beach and participate in games) from midnight to 1 a.m.; Let's Beat Cancer Fiesta Party from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Pajama Party (wear pajamas and watch movies) from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.; and Remembrance, when participants are invited to bring banners, signs and pictures, from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. "Fight Back Super Hero" laps are to start at 6 a.m.
During its first 12 years, the event has raised more than $3 million for the American Cancer Society.
Information: Meaghan Kordusky, 410-313-6592 or visit www.howardrfl.com.