LAURINBURG —Saturday dawned clear and warm, then turned steamy as the day’s temperatures rose into the low 90s and the heat index even higher. But the sun-baked crowd didn’t seem to mind much.
“It’s a hot one, for sure,” said Joe Baranik, head coach of the St. Andrews University wrestling team. “But it could be worse — it could be pouring down rain.”
About three dozens teams, hundreds of participants and numerous visitors converged on Pate Stadium at Scotland High School for the annual Relay For Life event. Throughout the 12-hour walk-a-thon, a variety of entertainment events — including a team of youth cloggers, musical performances, a children’s color toss and a parachuting by the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights — joined several food and game vendors to keep the walkers’ minds off the rising heat.
As morning turned into afternoon, Baranik’s wrestlers began lining the inside of the track with luminarias — as well as spelling the words HOPE and CURE in the stands — for the nighttime Luminaria Ceremony. More than 2,000 luminaries were placed for the ceremony.
That ceremony took place after the sun went down and the final hour of the event began. Following the Luminaria Ceremony at 9 p.m., a Fight Back Ceremony was held — followed by the HOPE Lap and the Fight Back Closing Lap.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-506-3023 or [email protected]