Relay for Life Gets Reinvented

The annual St. Croix Valley Relay for Life will be held as a 5K this year on August 4. While the goal of the Relay remains the same how it will run has changed. The Relay for Life 5K will be held on the Calais Waterfront Walkway and hopes to increase participation in the event. (Photo by Kaileigh Deacon)

By Kaileigh Deacon


As summer is now underway and Calais is prepping for their annual events, many are asking: “Where is the Relay for Life?” The annual event, which has been traditionally held sometime during the month of June, is going through a few changes this year, including when it will be held. This year the event is scheduled for Saturday, August 4th at the Calais Waterfront.

The date isn’t the only thing that has changed this year. For the first time, the St. Croix Relay for Life will be changing from a multiple-hour relay event to a 5K Run/Walk. According to the Relay for Life committee, the change is a result of many factors, but namely a decreasing number of participants over the last few years.

There will be some major changes with changing from the traditional relay to the 5K. By switching to the 5K format, the relay will unfortunately have to lose some of its more honored traditions like the Survivors’ Walk and the Luminary Ceremony. Though the traditional sense of these things will be changed, the committee is working hard to still support them in some way. They are looking into a Survivors’ Ceremony prior to the start of the 5K to recognize those who have fought the battle with cancer and won. The committee has also replaced the traditional luminary bags that would line the track with honor flags that will bear names and, in some cases, pictures, as the bags used to do. The flags will be placed along the track for participants to see as they run or walk.

The 5K will start at the boat landing in Calais and follow the Calais River Walk, heading first toward Dead River before looping back and finishing the walkway on the other end. Registrations and the survivor tent will be located in the parking lot at the boat landing. Registration will take place from 8-9 a.m. The first wave of runners will start at 9 a.m. and the second wave of walkers will start at 9:30. The event will not be timed as it is not a competitive event and is just for fundraising for the American Cancer Society.

As before, anyone wishing to participate in the relay can register before the event or the day of and can participate as a team or as an individual. The cost to register the day of the event is $30 for an adult and $20 for a child. For those wishing to obtain a shirt, the minimum amount needed to be raised is $100, and it must be raised prior to the day of the event to get the correct shirt size. Registrants on the day of the event will not be guaranteed a shirt. All registered participants will receive a medallion for participation the day of the event. Survivors are encouraged to register early to ensure they have the correct shirt size available.

In addition to the survivors’ tent, the waterfront parking lot will also host Jamie Bohannon as the volunteer DJ for the event, keeping everyone motivated as they walk/run and finish the event. Other vendors are welcome to set up on the waterfront as well to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. No personal profit vendors will be permitted at the event.

“This is a trial year so please bear with us as we try something new,” committee member B.J. Wallace said. “Come out on August 4 and help us make this event a success.”


For anyone wishing to participate in the St. Croix Relay for Life 5K, you can register online at the American Cancer Society website or on the app. The event also has a Facebook page with more information. For more information you can reach out to someone you know doing the event or contact committee member B.J. Wallace at