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story.lead_photo.caption Relay for Life participants sign up before the 2018 Relay for Life. The annual fundraising event for the American Cancer Society is this Friday, 5:30-11 p.m. Photo by Helen Wilbers / Fulton Sun.

Get ready to relay.

The 2019 Relay for Life kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday at Memorial Park. This year's star-spangled theme is Salute to a Cure.

"June 14 is flag day, so we wanted to go with a patriotic theme," said Julia Boyd Uhls, an event organizer and member of the Boyd and Boyd team.

Participants hope to raise $60,000 for the American Cancer Society.

The goal's a bit of a long shot, Uhls acknowledged.

"This is our second year at this new location," she said. "We're still trying to find our way and figure out appropriate goals. As of right now, we've raised $29,602. I think normally we end up around $40,000."

So far 12 teams have registered.

"A lot of teams don't register all of their participants, but instead the team itself," Uhls explained. "Right now, we have 79 participants registered, but there will be a lot more people participating."

It's not too late to join, Uhls added.

"Anybody in the community can sign up or just show up and walk the track," she said.

To learn more about Relay for Life and how to participate, visit

Following the relay is a ceremony where survivors and the families of those with cancer light lanterns.

"It's an opportunity to remember and honor people you've lost for cancer and survivors," Uhls said.

For $5, you can purchase a paper lantern to decorate. Local band Varlet Hearts will provide background music as the luminaria are illuminated with glow sticks and placed around the track. It's a solemn and moving scene.

"There's one family that decorates a bag every year for their daughter they lost several years ago," Uhls said.

A fireworks show will follow the ceremony, in keeping with the patriotic theme.

Aside from the relay and memorial ceremony, the evening is packed with activities and entertainment for the whole family. Salute to a Cure is free and open to the public.


5 p.m. Food trucks open, including Gator Wagon, Smokin' Loud Cuisine, Kona Ice and Finkle Kettle Corn. Survivor registration. Luminaries go on sale.

5:30 p.m. Carnival games, silent auction start. Car and bike show.

6 p.m. Flat Footin' Follies Clogging Team. Face painting, balloon animals. Pedal tractor pull registration opens.

6:30 p.m. Bingo.

7 p.m. State qualifier tractor pull.

7:30 p.m. Central Missouri All Starz Cheerleading team demo.

8 p.m. Opening ceremony and survivor lap, featuring the Fulton High School drumline and the Super Sam foundation.

9 p.m. Luminaria ceremony, featuring Varlet Hearts.

9:30 p.m. Glow in the dark splash pad party.

10:30 p.m. Awards and closing ceremony.

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