Here's hoping for glorious weather this weekend for two special outdoor events.
One is the American Cancer Society's Marquette County 2012 Relay For Life, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and continues until 10 a.m. Sunday at Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming. The event raises money to battle this dread disease.
For anyone who hasn't attended relay and wants to know what it's about, it's a life-affirming experience in which participants walk for 24 hours.
The public is encourage to go to the event and will hear a survivor's speech, this year from Cathy O'Donnell; can watch a survivors' lap, in which the people who have beaten the disease or who are still battling, take a special walk around the course; and to view the lighting of the hundreds luminaria, which honor someone fighting cancer or remember someone whose battle is over.
This year, relay will also serve as the sign-up point for the American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study 3. The national ACS has selected Marquette County as one of the areas participating in the study which will look at how lifestyle, genetics and the environment affect cancer in an effort to better understand - and prevent - the disease.
To be eligible to take part, in addition to being willing to make the long-term commitment to participate for the next 20 to 30 years, the person is to be between between 30 and 65 years of age and to have never had been diagnosed with cancer (not including basal or squamous cell skin cancer).
It's exciting to think our area might be part of a study that helps to once and for all end the scourge of cancer.
For more information, visit cancer.org/cps3.
The other exciting event this weekend is the Great Lakes Rodeo, which takes place at the Marquette County Fairgrounds tonight, Saturday and Sunday.
Launched in 2006 as the Sawyer Stampede, the rodeo has grown to an event that draws 2,500 spectators each year.
It begins with horseman skill competition at 5 p.m. today, then continues with competition at 11 a.m. Saturday and a rodeo performance at 6 p.m. There's a barn dance at 9 p.m. Saturday featuring Trailer Hitch.
On Sunday, events begin at 9 a.m. and the rodeo performance at 2 p.m., during which those attending are encouraged to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness. It is during the Sunday performance that the rodeo queen and her court are crowned.
Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the gate for those 13 and over and $5 in advance or $6 at the gate for kids 6-12.
A full weekend pass is $20 for those 13 and up and $10 for those ages 6-12.
For more information, visit greatlakesrodeo.com.
Even if Mother Nature doesn't cooperate with great weather, it's a great weekend for activities in Marquette County. We encourage our readers to get out to support these community events.