Residents of Perham may be wondering, “Where’s the Purple?” this week, since the week after the Fourth of July has traditionally been the time downtown Perham gets decked out in purple to herald the upcoming Relay For Life of East Otter Tail. We’ve come to expect that.

Unlike so many things this spring and summer, Paint the Town Purple and the Relay For Life of East Otter Tail have not been canceled. A modified version of the Relay For Life of East Otter Tail will take place on Saturday, August 1, on Main Street of Perham instead of the Perham High School track. Paint the Town Purple will take place in the week prior to August 1. Relay leadership and participants will decorate downtown and Third Avenue Southeast. on July 19, and Perham businesses will be asked to “purple up” about that same time.

Paint the Town Purple will mark the kickoff to Relay Week in East Otter Tail. Not only will Perham get “painted” purple, but also the communities of New York Mills, Vergas, and Ottertail. Likewise, the August 1, a celebration will take place in Perham and New York Mills, in order to provide for social distancing.

Relay Week will also include the Brewing for a Cure event at Disgruntled Brewing on July 30 and possibly some team fundraisers throughout the week.

What will this “modified Relay” look like? The Relay leadership is committed to making the important aspects of the Relay For Life take place, so decorated luminaries will be set out and will be lit at dusk, cancer survivors will be celebrating mostly virtually, event sponsors will be recognized, and the mission of the American Cancer Society (ACS) will be emphasized. The East Otter Tail Relay will join other Relay events across the state in a statewide virtual Relay celebration that night, in which survivors will be celebrated and sponsors will be recognized. Prior to that, luminaries will be set out curbside on Main Street so that people can either walk or drive by, to view them. The Relay leadership is hopeful that we can offer some team fundraisers and food items that night, as well - possibly in conjunction with local food and drink businesses. People will also have the opportunity to contribute to the ACS and become ACS Cancer Action Network members or renew their ACS CAN memberships. The drawing for the Taste of EOT Cooler will take place that night, as well.

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