Ignite a light for hope

Published 8:49 am Thursday, September 6, 2018

You may have been strolling down Cumberland Avenue and noticed many storefronts and public spaces decked out in rich purple ribbons and other decor.

This influx in purple is part of the Paint the Town Purple initiative in observance of the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life for Middlesboro and Pineville.

The initiative is a competition that allows a business to show their support for the cause of fighting cancer. The award will be given out at the Relay itself on Saturday.

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The Relay For Life isn’t something that can be organized over a week, it takes months of planning to execute properly, and various events to raise awareness are held leading up to the Relay itself.

The Relay begins at 4 p.m. at the Middlesboro City Parking Lot. The event promises to include a multitude of activities to enjoy for all who attend — including a variety of games, food, music and guest speakers.

At 4:30 p.m., the Survivor’s Celebration will commence followed by a triple act of live music by Candace Oslonian, Joe Coe and Dark Ridge Ramblers. The Lip Sync Battle will follow at 7 p.m.

Come 9 p.m., a Luminaria Ceremony will close out the Relay.

A Luminaria Ceremony’s purpose is one of reflection and hope. It’s meant for grief, reflection and looking to the future with a sense of hope. According to the American Cancer Society, the Luminaria Ceremony is often the most memorable part of a Relay for Life event.

The Luminaria’s themselves are bags with the names of people who are fighting or have fought cancer. They can be people currently battling the disease or someone who lost their life to it. The people who craft their Luminaria’s usually create designs, drawings or add photos to personalize them. They are lit with a candle, a glow stick or other safe approved lighting source. Specially approved bags are also available as some store bought bags can be a fire hazard.

The Relay for Life will end at 10 p.m.