Downtown Perham will be the site of the 2020 Relay For Life of East Otter Tail on Saturday, Aug. 1, in its modified and socially-distanced form. Due to COVID-19 complications, the 25th annual Relay did not take place in the usual way in mid-July. Relay organizers have done their best to bring some important aspects of Relay For Life to our community.

“Although our county’s cancer survivors are unable to gather as a group and walk the inspirational Survivors’ Lap, we hope to honor them in several ways that night,” said Survivors Chairs Laurine Braukmann and Lisa Preuss.

There will be luminaries lining the curbsides of downtown, luminary posters will be hanging in downtown businesses, and submitted names of survivors will be scrolling on the electronic sign in the United Community Bank parking lot. Additionally, cancer survivors across the state of Minnesota will be celebrated in a section of the online Statewide Relay Celebration, which those gathered on Saturday can watch on the “big screen” from cars or in the yard area in N.P. park at 7:45 p.m.

Perham residents who still may want to honor a survivor in any of the ways mentioned above can contact Lisa Peterson at or 346-4747 before Thursday, July 30, for the electronic sign. Those in attendance Saturday night will still be able to purchase and display luminary bags if they choose.

Other important aspects of the typical East Otter Tail Relay include the display and lighting of the luminary bags and team fundraisers. Both of these will be evident in the Main Street celebration, also. In addition, people will have a chance to visit with each other in socially distanced groups and enjoy food from Relay teams and/or downtown eating establishments.

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Saturday evening’s activities:

3:30 p.m. - Luminaries will be set out along curbsides of Main Street, along as many streets as needed.

  • Volunteers from the public are welcome to help, if they choose.

5:30 p.m. - Team fundraisers begin - N.P. park area

  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches; Got Hope team

  • Myles Flateland’s Sweet Pickled Asparagus; Vergas Looneys team

  • Possible SnoCones, Smoothies and Floats; Mark’s Fleet Supply/Mark’s Home and More team and PHS Class of ‘80 team

  • Luminaries and tickets for Taste of East Otter Tail Cooler available for purchase

  • ACS CAN booth; renew or start membership in ACS CAN

  • Other possible team fundraisers to come

7:30 p.m. - Drawing for Taste of East Otter Tail Cooler in N.P. park

7:45 p.m. - Viewing of online statewide Relay celebration

  • The screen will be facing parking lot behind N.P. park

Those choosing to watch from cars park there and in a second row behind. Those not in cars can watch from the yard area near the screen. Sound will be available for both options.

This video will be followed by a short video thanking outgoing Relay Committee members and a short video honoring the memory of LeRoy Wegscheid.

9:20 p.m - Candles in luminary bags will be lit

Midnight - Candles extinguished and bag clean up

Those attending the Relay event:

Please park on side streets, so that those wishing to view luminaries from their cars may do so. Begin parking on side streets by 4 p.m. Saturday.

If looking at luminaries from cars:

  • Put your flashers on, so that regular traffic knows you will be going slowly
  • Drive close to the side you are viewing, then turn around and drive close to the other side, so that you can clearly see luminaries on both sides. View only one side at a time.
  • Watch for those who may be walking along the curbsides.

If wishing to view video from a car, park behind NP park in designated spots. Please don’t park in these spots if you don’t intend to view from your car.

Questions about the event may be directed to Lisa Peterson, event chair.