Friday, May 2, Bartow will again host the ACS Relay for Life. This year’s Relay is being held at the Bartow High School stadium, once again, and is combined with Lake Wales Relay for the first time. Relay teams and committee members will be setting up their campsites in and around the stadium around noon on Friday. So, because of this and schools releasing, traffic could get quite congested in this area. Be extra careful this weekend.
Bartow’s Relay is always very exciting, and promises to be so again this year with many activities planned. Several changes have been made to the format that you might want to be aware of. The Cancer Survivor’s Dinner that was formerly held at the Civic Center will now be on the night of Relay in the middle of the field at 5:30 p.m. This dinner is intended to recognize and honor our cancer survivors and caretakers. Also, parking is allowed across the street from the stadium in those parking areas to alleviate vehicle congestion close to the stadium itself. Finally, the newest rule of all – arm bands will be required for any person under the age of 18 after 11 p.m.
These armbands are designed to identify those that are underage participating with a particular team during Relay. If minors do not have an armband after 11 p.m., officers will be looking for someone to come and pick them up. Relay for Life is a serious event not just a festival. Our role and purpose is to honor our survivors and remember those that have lost the fight against cancer. So this year, take pride in your hometown event, and ensure that you are following the rules so that Bartow/Lake Wales Relay for Life can continue to be the best Relay in the State of Florida!
Joe Hall is the police chief of the Bartow Police Department.