American Cancer Society Relay for Life luminary ceremonyAfter six years in Ocean City, the annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life will move to the mainland.The event is an all-night celebration that honors the lives of people battling cancer, remembers those who have died of the disease and raises money in the search for a cure. The local Relay for Life has raised almost $500,000 since it started.This year, the event will be held at Amanda’s Field in the Petersburg section of Upper Township on June 26 and 27.A kickoff party will be held noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 11 at Whippoorwill Campground on Route 9 in Marmora. Anybody is invited to attend to get a taste of what the event is like and to learn more about how to participate.________________________________To sign up, donate or find more information: relayforlife.org/uppertownshipnj________________________________ Courtney Keenan, the local leader for the event, said the renovation of the track at Carey Stadium, where the event was held in Ocean City, was one of the reasons the Relay sought a new location.She said it will be essentially the same event at the new location. Amanda’s Field is at 10 Sunset Drive in Petersburg.Kirby Reed, the community manager for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, said Ocean City event had been decreasing in the number of participants and the amount of money raised over the last two years.She said she hopes the new location will help spark a renewed interest, and she said Upper Township officials have been as supportive as those in Ocean City.“Everybody in Ocean City has been so lovely and easy to work with,” Reed said.Keenan said no decision has been made yet on whether the Relay for Life will remain in Upper Township in 2016 or return to Ocean City.During the event, participating teams solicit pledges and take turns walking or running around the track from 6 p.m.Friday (June 26) to 6 a.m. Saturday (June 27).Participants camp out all night and enjoy an array of activities and entertainment, including live music, Zumba classes, classes in a new hybrid of Pilates and yoga. This year’s theme is “Dr. Seuss,” and the event will include laps around the track related to the theme.One of the most emotional segments takes place after dark when participants display candlelit bags decorated to honor loved ones lost to cancer. This “Luminaria Ceremony” also includes a slideshow of friends and family affected by the disease.Anybody is invited to attend the event, to donate and to remember. There is no registration fee, and individuals are welcome to participate in any of the events for any length of time during the 12 hours of the Relay.The kickoff on April 11 will be “almost a mini Relay,” Reed said.The kickoff will include a barbecue and bonfire, entertainment and a presentation on how to participate and how the proceeds will help fight cancer. Whippoorwill Campground is at 810 Route 9.“Come out and meet us to get a feel for what it’s going to be like,” Keenan said.“It’s a great event for anybody who’s been touched by cancer,” she said. “Our motto is, ‘Cancer never sleeps and neither will we.’ ”The local event was founded by Ocean City High School graduate Brittany Ang and a friend who lost her mother to brain cancer, Allison Iudica.