The atmosphere inside Lehighton's Football Stadium figures to be lively, colorful and extremely emotional this weekend.
Expect all that and more when the American Cancer Society holds its 13th annual Relay For Life of Lower Carbon County.
The 24-hour event runs from 10 a.m. Saturday through 10 a.m. Sunday at the stadium. Admission and parking are free.
Relay for Life specialist Cheryl Haas said this year's relay theme is Luau for Life.
Opening ceremony is at 10 a.m., and the parade of teams is at 1 p.m., followed by the fight back ceremony.
The survivors reception will be held at 6 p.m. MaryAnn Grant, of Red Hill, Montgomery County, will serve as honorary survivor.
The luminaria ceremony is at 9 p.m., followed by the Miss Relay contest at 11:30 p.m.
Closing ceremony is at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.
There will be plenty of food and activities throughout the event.
Haas said this year's event features 27 teams and 481 participants.
To date, $64,000 has been raised since last September, Haas said. The overall goal for this year is $90,000, she said.
"I always say if you come to a Relay just to check it out, you will want to come back again," Haas said. "It does not matter what you do; just buying a single hoagie makes a difference in a cancer patient's life."
Haas thanked her event chairs Sue Eckhart, Pat Ohl and Heather Papay, as well as her committee, team captains, Relay participants and every supporter.
Relay For Life is a 24-hour community event that raises awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society to support cancer research and provide free programs and services to cancer survivors.
It is much more than a fundraiser. It is designed to involve the entire community in cancer education, increase awareness of the mission of the American Cancer Society and its advocacy efforts, and to learn about programs and services available to cancer patients, their caregivers and families.
The event brings more than 3.5 million people together annually to celebrate the lives of the survivors who have battled cancer and are winning the fight, to remember loved ones lost to the disease and to fight back by making a commitment to put an end to cancer.
Last year's event had about 380 registered participants and 135 registered cancer survivors.
Over $1 million has been raised since the event formed in Palmerton in 2002.
For more information, call 888-227-5445, ext. 3112, or visit www.relay.acsevents.org.