Cancer survivors took the first lap around the track Friday night to begin the eighth annual Texas County Relay for Life.

The eighth annual Texas County Relay For Life ended early Saturday morning after hundreds of supporters gathered at Tiger Stadium to raise money to battle cancer and support cancer research and cancer victims.

The event began at 7 p.m. Friday with a large group of cancer survivors, all wearing purple shirts, taking the ceremonial first lap around the track. They were greeted with applauses the entire way around as they passed tents set up on the infield.

After two hours of teams walking laps around the track and money being raised through games and food, the ceremonies paused for a luminaria ceremony that included an emotional message from a cancer survivor. The lights at Tiger Stadium were turned off as candles were held by everyone present to honor those who had lost the fight for cancer and celebrate those who had defeated the disease.

Music groups entertained throughout the night from a stage in the middle of the football field as the relay lasted nearly 12 hours. It ended at 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

Photos from this year’s event.

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