It’s time to Relay, Relay for Life that is. Come one, come all. They invite you all.

The Onslow County Relay for Life Festival is scheduled for Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Northside High School and this year’s Dr. Seuss theme has added to the fun with a day of themed laps around the track to get everyone relaying against cancer.

The traditional Survivor’s Lap will be held at 1 p.m. right after the Opening Ceremony and the caregivers join in at 1:15 p.m. Beginning at 2 p.m. there will be Seuss-themed laps beginning each hour, come outshine the Cat and wear your best hat or wear your craziest socks with Fox in Sox.

There will be more than 125 teams and vendors participating in the festival, with family friendly fun including entertainment from local groups, craft vendors, food trucks and various team activities.

 

The event is free and open to the public and a chance to come out and walk laps, cheer on survivors and remember those who have lost their lives to cancer at the Luminaria Ceremony that will close out the day at 8 p.m.

Cassandra Humbert, the Relay for Life Event Lead in Onslow County, said the festival is a fun way to share an important message with a little touch of Dr. Seuss to go with it.

Cancer: Not Here. Not There. Not Anywhere.

“We want their support and we want to raise awareness within the community,” Humbert said.

Relay for Life organizers decided to transition this year to a one-day festival to encourage more participation after a decline in recent years in attendance at the two-day overnight event.

The more participation, the more they can do to support the American Cancer Society.

“The American Cancer Society’s mission is to save lives, celebrate love and lead the fight for a world without cancer,” Humbert said. “We love that our community comes together during Relay for Life to raise money and awareness. Our goal this year is to raise $300,000. Raising this amount symbolizes operating the Hope Lodge of NC for one year.”

The Miss Relay for Life Team, which includes participants in the Miss Relay for Life pageant, has raised more than $38,000 and will be at the festival with a rock painting booth. Come paint a rock for Relay for a donation. They’ll provide the supplies, seal your painted rock, and you can hide it yourself or they’ll do it for you.

“I think it is something everybody can enjoy and help a good cause,” said Miss Junior Relay for Life Charlotte Wessell, 14, of Jacksonville.

Miss Teen Relay for Life Devinie Stewart, 17, of Jacksonville said the festival offers a day full of fun activities to support the American Cancer Society.

“It is a fun event with lots of things to do,” she said. “Come out, walk laps, paint rocks, and enjoy the day while supporting a good cause.”

 

Humbert said new this year will be a VIP lounge just for the cancer survivors in attendance. The tent will be located near the stage and survivors are invited to come by and relax in the “living room” donated by Rose Brothers Furniture and enjoy the entertainment and refreshments.

“The VIP lounge is just for survivors. This is their day,” Humbert said.

Onslow’s Relay for Life event will also be attempting to set another Guinness World record for the most people waving a purple ribbon at a Relay event. The current record is 530 people and the goal for Saturday is 600 people.

“We want to break the current record and make it a challenge for someone to break ours,” Humbert said.

Anyone who wants to join in should be on site by 1:15 p.m. to get ready for the 1:30 start. Everyone has to wave a ribbon for 40 seconds using the same arm.

There will also be hair stylists from all over Onslow County donating their time to cut and style the hair of anyone who has 8 inches of hair they want to donate for wigs for children with hair loss.

For a detailed event schedule or to donate, go to the Relay for Life Onslow County event website at http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=88773 or see the event Facebook page.

 

 

Reporter Jannette Pippin can be reached at 910-382-2557 or Jannette.Pippin@JDNews.com