Relay For Life on its marks

The opening lap of last year's Arbroath Relay for Life.
The opening lap of last year's Arbroath Relay for Life.

After all the months of planning this weekend sees the culmination of a great year for Arbroath’s big outdoor fund-raising festival for Cancer Research UK.

With 33 teams and 561 people registered, Relay For Life 2014 is all set for a sensational weekend with something for everyone and fun for the whole family.

The events kick off tonight (Friday) with a veterans football match when former High School pupils host a home match against old rivals from the Academy in what is sure to be a friendly but lively contest.

The Cricket Club sees the return of the ever popular Rat Pack Night while Limelight Theatre is hosting a night of genius and deception by popular local magician Michael Brandie at the Webster Memorial Theatre.

The main event itself starts at 10.30 a.m. on Saturday with a warm-up session for team members, followed by the opening ceremony at Lochlands.

It begins with the survivor’s lap at 11 a.m. , one of the most moving parts of the event.

Relay chair Ian Angus said: “Many people describe Relay for Life as an emotional rollercoaster and there is no doubt that the survivors’ lap is up there as one of the most emotionally charged moments of the whole weekend.

“I would defy anyone not to have a lump in their throat and a tear in the eye at the sight our survivors setting off on a lap of honour.

“They are the very essence of Relay. They tell us all we need to know. That all the hard work raising funds for vital research is making a real difference for people in our own community, people we know and love.”

The committee has been working hard to put on a festival for participating teams and spectators. From homebaked treats to chainsaw carvings and dunk tanks, to the dog walk lap at 9 a.m. on Sunday where dog owners can join in for a small donation.

On Saturday evening (around 8.30 p.m.) preparations begin for the candle of hope ceremony a moving tribute to friends and family lost to cancer and a message of hope for those receiving treatment.

As walkers enter the home straight on Sunday morning there will be more, including an attempt to form the world’s biggest human ‘Big C logo’ to which everyone is invited.

For a small donation, members of the public can also come along and join in the party on the pitch to support weary walkers as they enter the last 15 minutes of the 24 hour marathon.

Finally, at 11 a.m. the announcement will be made of how much the relays across Britain have raised for Cancer Research UK.