The Hempstead County Relay for Life's 2017 campaign is in its stretch run with it annual Survivor's Banquet tomorrow at Hempstead Hall, followed by the main Relay for Life event itself on Friday night, running from 6 p.m. to 12 midnight.

The Hempstead County Relay for Life’s 2017 campaign is in its stretch run with it annual Survivor’s Banquet tomorrow at Hempstead Hall, followed by the main Relay for Life event itself on Friday night, running from 6 p.m. to 12 midnight.
Then, Super Saturday’s slate of events follow, with Train Day starting at 7 a.m., followed by Trade Days at 8 a.m., Cinco De Mayo at 10:30 a.m. and Trace Adkins at 7 p.m.
But, the big weekend all gets started Friday with the Relay for Life, and in an update Tuesday, Relay for Life Chair Jessie Lewis said, “Right now, Hempstead County has the most sponsors out of all Southwest Arkansas counties. We have been hustling in Hope, and I cannot thank all of you enough for being in-kind sponsors and promoting Relay for Life teams, sponsors, and fundraising events.”
As Friday approaches, Hope’s Fair Park will host the Relay’s traditional Luminaria ceremony inside the Fair Park Coliseum. And many Relay activities, foods and attractions will include Cotton Candy, Hot Dogs, Scavenger Hunt for Teenagers $500.00 prize, Bean bag toss & Spin To Win Wheel, Raffle tickets for the Outdoor Bundle, Ring Toss, Duck Game, Baggo, Tattoo booth, Nachos, Bounce House, Petting Zoo, Popcorn, Roasted Peanuts, Root Beer and Balloon Dart Game, and Dunking Booth.
An updated list of active participants for Friday include teams from Southern Bakeries, Sisters of Hope, ROC'N Relay, Walmart, New Millennium, Cancer Slayers, Diamond Bank, Beta Beta Kappa/Phi Theta Kappa from UAHT, Heather Manor, Hempstead County Courthouse, Bancorp South, Super 1 Foods, Zumba 4 Life, Avon Shining Stars, Brentwood, Pafford EMS, Lazy W,, Red River Federal Credit Union, H&R Block, GP Ready, and Excelsior White Rose.
Also on Friday, at the University of Arkansas at Hope, the annual year-end faculty appreciation luncheon happens at Hempstead Hall at 11:30 a.m.  In downtown Hope, Friday night, the fifth annual “Train Day” festival gets a head start with a Street Theater movie presentation at 7:30 p.m., sponsored by Garrett Memorial, and a Train Day send-off at approximately 9:15 p.m. for the winners of a Train Day AMTRAK trip to St. Louis.
Train Day and Trade Days start the day with the Train Day annual 5K run at 7 a.m. Also rib-cooking teams will set up beginning at 7 a.m. This year's rib cook off has over $2,500 in total prizes with a $1,250 grand prize for the first-place finisher.  Those attending will also be able to purchase rib plates for a nominal fee.  Applications for the rib cook off are available at Tailgaters.
Entertainment begins at 9:30 a.m. with a demonstration of 19th century dances by the Washington Vintage Dancers.  At 10 a.m. the Dancetastic Dancers will begin a program of all their age groups.  At 12:30 p.m., Dr. Damien Strodderd will have a dog demonstration on the small stage at the depot.
Downtown Trade Days will be held concurrent to the Train Day festival in downtown Hope.  Trade Day is co-sponsored by the Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce and the Hope Downtown Network. Trade Days vendor booths are scheduled to open from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Elm & Division, a block over from Train Day activities on Main & Division.
Later on Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. at the Bill Clinton House, a Cinco De Mayo festival celebrating the Latino community will run from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Train Day festival activities will also wrap up at 4:45 p.m., and for the evening, the action shifts back to Hempstead Hall, where Country Music Star Trace Adkins performs starting at 7 p.m.