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Just in case
Relay organizers make back-up plan
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Just in case
Relay organizers make back-up plan


Ideally, the 2011 Relay for Life of Barton County will go off as scheduled Friday evening in the Barton County courthouse square in downtown Great Bend. But this is Kansas and the spring weather is unpredictable at best.
“We’re praying it doesn’t rain,” said event Chairperson Linn Hogg. None the less, forecasts are calling for a chance of precipitation. So, the Relay committee met Monday night to discuss a plan B.
As it is, the Relay opens at 6 p.m. Friday in downtown Great Bend. The survivor lap would start at 6:45, the luminary ceremony at dusk (around 9 p.m.), the fight-back ceremony at midnight and the closing ceremony at 6 a.m. Saturday, all at the square.
However, rain would rule out the outdoor venue. In the event of bad weather, there would be two big changes.
First, the relay would move inside the Kirkman Center on the Barton Community College campus. Second, it would end at midnight Friday instead of Saturday morning.
An announcement will be made through the media Friday morning regarding any changes.
“We know people will be disappointed if we have to move,” Hogg said. But, “the bottom line is that Relay is about raising money to battle cancer, and that won’t change no matter where it is held.”
The back-up schedule of events is below.
2-6 p.m. – BCC Kirkman opens with setting up of teams in practice gym
3 p.m.– Team Registration until 6
6 p.m. – Opening ceremony  
6:10 p.m.– Flags ceremony (by Legion Riders)
6:15 p.m. – “Star Spangled Banner” sung by Shelly Ramsey
6:20 p.m. – Opening prayer, Mark Williams
6:25 p.m. – Former Ellinwood Mayor Joe Hickel and the mayors’ proclamation
6:35 p.m. – Celebrate ceremony (survivor ceremony)
6:45 p.m. – Survivor lap
7-9 p.m. – Live music performed by local talent
9 p.m. – Luminary ceremony begins with special music by Ramsey and names read by Paul Wagner, Matt McBain and Matt Unruh
11-11:30 p.m. – Fight Back Ceremony
11:30-midnight – Closing ceremony and closing prayer, the Rev. Tom Sheldon
Should bad weather cause the Relay to move, it won’t be the first time Mother Nature has dampened the event. Six years ago, the Relay started outdoors at Brit Spaugh Park in Great Bend, but a storm forced an immediate move to BCC. This was the first time ever rain played a role in a Barton County Relay.
The following year, an outdoor Relay at Brit Spaugh was cut short by rain. And, the next year, due heavy rains in the days leading up to the Relay and wet, mosquito-plagued conditions at the park, the decision was made early to move it to indoors at BCC.
After Brit Spaugh was remodeled, making impractical to hold the Relay there, the Relay was moved outside at the college. It was there for two years before being relocated to downtown Great Bend in 2010.
For more information, call Hogg at 620-617-3640 or Team Development Chairperson Kandi Wolf at 620-797-5651.