It's midnight. The lights have been dimmed around the football field at Ocean View High School and tents are scattered across the grass. It's quiet except for the steady sound of feet trudging along the dirt track. People are talking on the field and music plays softly from a stage, but the sound of moving feet cannot be drowned out.
Over 60 relay teams are camped out on the school's football field. Each team is committed to keeping at least one team member in motion on the track for the duration of the event.
The Relay for Life has been going most of the day, and now that the sun has set, its time for the evening program. For many people who attend the Huntington Beach Relay For Life, one of the most moving parts of the event is the Ceremony of Hope. As the light dims over campsites and team members complete laps, the night is brightened by the glow of lighted bags called luminaria, each of which has a special meaning. Some luminaria celebrate the survivorship of people who have battled cancer and lived to tell the tale. Many commemorate the lives of those who have been lost to this disease. All represent a person who has been profoundly affected by cancer and the family and friends who continue to be touched by that experience.
Luminarias placed on the bleachers next to the tracks spell out the words hope and cure.
Following the Ceremony of Hope, participants were entertained with live acoustic music and a midnight outdoor screening of The Incredibles on a 16 foot inflatable movie screen. The outdoor screen was courtesy of Open Air Cinema
based in Lindon, Utah.