The 2020 SL Christmas Expo in support of the American Cancer Society, will take place between Friday, December 4th and Sunday, December 13th, 2020, inclusive. The theme for this year is that of Christmas Memories, with the organisers noting:
Christmas trees towering over your head while the Lionel train makes is journey around the base. Brightly wrapped gifts spread under the lowest boughs, as the aroma of sugar cookies and gingerbread drift in from the kitchen. Carols playing on the Victrola while the family gathers together to celebrate the holidays. Christmas Memories of all shapes and sizes spring to mind each year as the holidays approach.
– Nuala Maracas, RFL of SL Christmas Expo co-ordinator
This year, the organisers plan to have:
Breedables and one-of-a-kind auctions.
nearly non-stop musical performances / entertainment via the Holly jolly Café.
Gachas and hunts.
Christmas trees, ice skating, and a snowman building contest.
The 3rd annual Lights of Hope contest, featuring the best builders and teams of Lindens and Moles in a holiday home decorating competition.
The closing Live Auction with one of a kind items from Linden Lab and SL’s top creators and the annual Holidays of Hope Ball.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) is a global signature event coordinated by the American Cancer Society aimed at raising awareness of the risks of breast cancer and in raising funds to support research into, and treatment of, the disease. Traditionally held in the latter half of the year, in 2019 MSABC raised over US $13,600 large through two main activities – Out to Shop and The Pink Power Fest / Making Strides Walk-a-Thon.
This year, MSABC is changing things up again, and in doing so, they are also hoping to show support for, and receive it from, another of Second Life’s active communities: the medieval / renaissance community.
The Second Life Renaissance Festival in support of Strides will open its doors on Friday, September 25th, 2020 and will run through until Sunday, October 4th, 2020 inclusive, and it will offer something for everyone interested in the medieval / renaissance period, or who wants to support the global work of ACS in respect of treating and curing breast cancer.
The festival will take place across four themed regions – or kingdoms, as they are being called. They will comprise:
Two Kingdom Shopping Regions, which will also include the Minstrel’s Corner (the entertainment stage), and will host the Best In Helm contest and the Tale Of Heroes activity, of which more below.
The tournaments region.
The Kings Court Academy region – focused on role-play – which will also feature the Traveller’s Camp, home to the event’s Gatcha and auctions (silent and one-of-a-kind).
We’d like our events to be all inclusive, so the Best In Helm contest is open to anyone wanting to take their photo in knight’s armour. Visitors to the festival will be able to vote for their favourite knight by making a donation through the Strides kiosk alongside their chosen knight.
The Tale Of Heroes is open to anyone in Second Life who wishes to tell their story of how Strides and / or Breast Cancer has affected them, or what it means to them.
– Nuala Maracas, Renaissance Festival co-coordinator
The tournaments region will offer a range of period tournaments – jousting, archery, mêlée, mounted archery – on a daily basis throughout the festival, and these are again open to anyone who like to try their hand at any of them.
The Kings Court Academy will feature a range of period role-play classes for those interested, and offer practice grounds for those wanting to try their hand at the various tournament activities, either on their own or via a scheduled class. It will also host the Conquer Trail, a path people can take on foot or horseback, running or walking, and use slingshots or rotten tomatoes to try to strike targets; hitting a target will provide information about Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the services it provides.
Currently, the festival is taking registrations from: sponsors, merchants interested in participating – although slots for both are running out! – and period role-play communities / groups. Details can be found on the festival’s website as follows:
Those who wish to help in organising the event can also visit the volunteer’s sign-up page. Note that this does not include any sign-up for stage managers, greeters, entertainers, bloggers, etc., – a call for these positions will be made in due course.
Further information on the festival will be made available through the Renaissance Festival website as it becomes available, and I hope to provide updates through these pages as well.
My thanks to Nuala Maracas for spending time with me to discuss the event.
Update: Trader Whiplash-Ballinger dropped me a note to point out that those wishing to hear the music stream for the event, provided by T1 Radio, should visit the T1 Radio website and use the pop-out Relay Radio media player rather than using the in-world stream. The player will give lag / interruption-free listening enjoyment as visitors travel the Relay regions.
Friday June 5th through Sunday June 7th 2020 marks the Relay for Life of Second Life Relay weekend – and this year it’s a biggie! The Relay track this year covers some 40-ish regions, which are supported by additional event and activity regions so that the entire weekend comprises some 57 regions in all, with the American Cancer Society (ACS) region forming the 58th and anchor-point region.
In a year when the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has done so much to prevent people coming together around the world to raise money for ACS and global cancer organisations, Relay for Life of Second Life takes on added importance. It is, in effect, THE major grass-roots fund-raising series of events raising money for ACS and its projects in 2020. Already, Relayers across Second Life have accept the challenge by raising some US $260,000+, and this year’s Relay Weekend offers the opportunity for all of us to significantly advance that total.
The theme for this year is Game On Cancer, and in reflection of this, relay teams have come together to present a whole host of parcels along the route of the track the take games as their theme – many of them interactive in nature (you can engage in a giant game of Mahjong, for example, or enter an avatar-sized setting based on Clue – or to use its original name (I won’t say “proper”! 🙂 ) Cluedo; while several of SL’s popular communities – science fiction, the road / driving community, role-play groups, sailing / surfing / water communities, and so on – provide region-wide installation focused on their activities framed within the overall theme.
This means there is a huge amount to see and do within the regions as a pert of the overall aim of raising funds for the American Cancer Society’s world-wide efforts to bring treatment, care, support and (eventually) cures to cancer sufferers world-wide.
With the regions, there’s also room for social commentary with subtle reminders that those from poor backgrounds are often more prone to the effects of cancer, simply because they do not have the ease of access to care and support. In this the “Las Vegas” region is quite effective in showing two sides of the coin. May of the teams participating also appear to be running their own events throughout the weekend, with numerous stages and event areas to be found along the track, all of which further helps encourage engagement and participation.
Also to be found through the region are informational displays about cancer and its treatment, parks in which to rest and reflect on life, and places to share in the stories of Second Life residents who have survived cancer, offered as a means to provide hop to those caught within its shadow.
The weekend officially kicks-off at 10:00 SLT on Saturday June 6th with a formal Opening Ceremony. However, as noted above, you can catch up with some of the people behind Relay for Life of Second Life by tuning into Lab Gab on Friday, June 5th, and 12:00 noon SLT.
For 2020, laps around the track are themed as follows, all times SLT.
Saturday, June 6th
Sunday, June 7th
11:00 Survivor/Caregiver Lap
sponsored by the Relay Rockers
Toga Party / Food Fight
cream pies at the ready!
12:30 Teams Lap
sponsored by Grid Play
C&V’s House of Rock
Roller Skating Hour
don your skates and roll around the track!
PAC Man Hour
gobble, gobble, gobble!
Walk with a Friend
two’s always company!
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
sponsored by Attention to Cancer
get yourself ship-shape!
Your Favourite Sports Teams
show your colours!
sponsored by Heroes Helping Heroes
Nerds and Geeks Unite!
grok you geek!
Fight Back Hour
sponsored by Gavin Dionysus
Your favourite video games
sponsored by Friends for a Cure
Wear Your Coffee and Drink Your Curlers
sponsored by Relay Rockers
sponsored by Camping for a Cure
21:00 Luminaria Ceremony
Purple Power Hour
sponsored by Team shadow
sponsored by SHB Gems
10:00 Closing Ceremony
Las Vegas Hour
dancing with your sparklers!
Luminaria Ceremony and Lanterns
At 21:00 SLT on Saturday, June 6th, the track will be in darkness and silence, with all those in the Relay Regions are asked not to engage in open text or voice chat but to walk the track in silence or stand to one side, as the names of those to be remembered are read.
It is a time for each of us to reflect on how this disease has touched us personally. And it is a time for us to look inside ourselves with quiet reflection and find hope. Because no matter what our experience has been with cancer, we all share the hope that we will one day live in a world where our children, and their children, will never have to hear the words “you have cancer”.
Along the sides of the relay track are the Luminaria lanterns that can be used to commemorate and / or honour someone you know who has succumbed to or survived cancer. Lanterns can be lit for a minimum donation of L$50 (all proceeds to Relay for Life of Second Life). Donations can can be made by clicking a lantern and then either selecting a set amount or typing in an amount of your choice. You can also optionally enter whether you are lighting the lantern in memory or in honour of someone, and also add their name and / or a message.
Lanterns will be available for donations from the opening of the weekend through until the weekend ends. They will display different colours, depending on the amount donated: Yellow: L$50-499; Green: L$500-999; Blue: L$1000-2499; Orange: L$2500-4999; Pink: L$5000-9999; Purple: L$10,000 and above.
The Spirit of Relay Award
The Spirit of Relay are annual awards presented to the individual and the team that embodies what the community calls, the ‘spirit’ of Relay, from Kick Off to Relay Day. It is not representative of just the amount raised, but takes into consideration the spirit of the individual or team: how they embraced Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society’s mission, their enthusiasm and their participation in Relay activities as a whole, not only in their own but other team’s events as well.
Nomination can be made via the 2020 Spirit of Relay Award form, which will remain open until Sunday June 8th, and the recipients will be announced at the 2020 RFL of SL Wrap Up Party on Wednesday, June 10th.
On Friday, May 15th, the 2020 Second Life Science Fiction Convention, raising money for Relay for Life of Second Life and the American Cancer Society, opens its doors to sci-fi enthusiasts from across virtual worlds.
Running through until Sunday, May 24th, 2020, the convention is spread across eight regions packed with all things science fiction, and offers insight into sci-fi goods and services, role-play, communities, and more, whilst also including a range of entertainment, talks, readings, hunts and activities to keep people engaged throughout the event.
Information on the event has been sketchy in places during the run-up when compared to other major RFL events (how to attend the blogger’s day was only published on the day, for example, which left some wondering that – while the date was known in advance – would it require registration beforehand, and if so how they might register in the run-up to the day).
Of course, now the event is rolling along, the core details are there, including a complete calendar of events (although information on hunts, etc., is best obtained from the information boards within the convention regions), and information on the region themes, the latter being:
When exploring the regions, you’ll find the usual interesting mix of merchants and role-play groups, all with something to offer. All of the major franchises from media sci-fi are represented – Star Trek in its various forms, Docotor Who, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, etc., together with the likes of Gundam, Babylon 5 while there are some nice references to Buck Rogers, Space 1999, etc., awaiting discovery, with even what might be a nod towards the short-lived Terra Nova, with much more besides. In touring, I admit to particularly liking Waxen Works’ The Life and Work of Gerry Anderson.
So, whatever your interest in science fiction, be sure to set your phaser on fun and head back to the future with a visit to the SL SciFi convention. So say we all!
Wednesday, May 13th, 2020, marked the start of the 4th annual Bid A Linden Bald event organised by the Relay Rockers in support of Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society.
First held in 2017 as an extension to the Relay Rockers annual Bid Me Bald challenge, in which people are invited to bid (make donations to RFL) to see a well-known Second Life resident go bald for a period of time in-world
For Bid a Linden Bald – as the name suggests – a number of teams from Linden Lab challenge one another to see who can raise the most in Linden Dollar donations for RFL of SL. At the end of the event, the team raising the least amount of money see their avatars get their hair shorn. Or as the event advertising puts it:
Top team gets the scissors – lowest team gets the haircut!
This year sees four teams from the Lab taking part in the week-long event. They are:
Team 1: Darcy, Jet, Oz, Spots, and Volo.
Team 2: Derrick, Kit, Patsy, TJ, and Wendi.
Team 3: Dottie, Kristin, Rocko, Vanessa, and Whitney.
Team 4: Izzy, Madori, Patch, Roran, and Vix.
For 2020, the team that is “bid bald” will have their avatars remain so through until the RFL of SL Relay Weekend of June 6th and 7th, 2020. They will receive their haircuts at a special events to be held at 15:00 SLT on Wednesday, May 20th, 2020, on the Relay Rockers region.
Should you wish to place a bid, drop in to the Relay Rockers’ home region. The kiosks for the event can be found in the south-east corner of the region by the barn (just follow the signs). You can make your donation based on the team you’d like to see win – or against the team you’d like to see lose!
We came to the coast once more early on the morning, and even as the Sun rose we could see its light glittering off the blue domes of our destination even before it fell across the seas beyond.
It was said that Zodiac had been founded by a company of Royales who departed the fair city of Magnificat many years ago. I had once visited Magnificat as a traveller riding alone, and the memory of that journey remained never far from my thoughts. As we left our mounts fed and watered on the outskirts of the city, so I was able to see a certain resemblance within these dome-topped halls and the spire-topped palaces of that ancient place. But more than that, this city brought to mind legends of the great temples and river of the Golden Delta, while the walls of water that fell straight and true down hand-made cliffs brought forth tales of the floating retreat of Sanctum, said to be held aloft on pillars of crystal waters.
I had heard that Zodiac was a place in which the mysteries of the heavens are venerated, and above the doorways of these tall houses glowing blue spheres glittered and turned with the patterns of the stars, marking out the heroes and gods of the past as they were said to look down from the night skies. Within the great hall of each of these houses, another glowing wheel of stars turned.
Yet these were not what held our attention, for as we came to the city’s waterfront, so we saw for the first time the great orb hanging effortlessly in the air over the city’s central channel. Sea blue in colour, it sat within great metal ribs, the golden powder of stars contained within it; and within that cloud, an entire world I could scarce recognise. As we looked upon this wondrous thing, so I perceived rivers of golden energy flowing outwards from the globe and into the buildings below.
“The energies of the heavens. Our blessing and our studies.” I turned towards the voice, and found a tall citizen of Zodiac standing close by, his long blue robes sparkling like the light flowing outwards from the sphere, his face fair and ageless, his eyes a bright, piercing blue. “They are what brought us to this place and raised this city. They give life and peace to all who come here.”
“It is magnificent,” I replied softly, “And bewitching; but how…”
“Does it remain so in the air?” He smiled, his face brightening with an inner light. “How else, but by the grace of the Guardians?”
“I thought the Guardians were but a myth!” I interrupted, and his eyes twinkled in the warmth of mirth.
“Perhaps. Perhaps not,” he replied. “It is true that they are now rarely seen here within the city; but they might yet be found for those with an open heart – such as you, who have travelled so far.” He bowed courteously, arms wide. “May I be your guide?”
And so we walked the paths of Zodiac, and its many parts were revealed, from stone gazebos where models of many worlds turned, to high terraces overlooking the waters below, where we could look on the energy-laced waters that fell outwards from the buildings around us, as boats passed down the channel and out to sea. Our host proved affable, yet mysterious; much of the history of Zodiac did we learn, but on some things he remained quiet, turning conversation away from the strange flow of energy from globe to building to water, while also turning away questions as to his place within the city.
So the day passed, with refreshments at a waterfront garden, and then a slow walk to our lodgings, where our mysterious guide bade us a fair evening, his cloak swirling about him in the lowering light of the evening Sun. I watched as he walked back into the city, towards that great sphere until just the sparkling mist if that blue robe glittered faintly. And as I looked, it seemed to me that glittering wafted upwards, climbing to the glowing blue sphere that now cast a soft blue glow over the city’s heart…
Zodiac, designed by Alia Baroque. Sponsored by Fallen Gods Inc, BamPu Legacies, and Bella Moda / ZED for MEN / MALified. Featuring stores by Astalianda & The Critter Corner, AtaMe, *~by Nacht, !dM deviousMind, Fantasy China, HOUSE OF RFYRE, Illusions, Lacrime dell’anima & Faida & Velvet Whip, lassitude & ennui, MacMoragh an Gabha, NeverWish & A.D.D.Andel!, On A Lark & Artisan Fantasy, .:Soul:., The Stringer Mausoleum & [CIRCA] Living, VENGE and Wasabi.
Total raised by the end of the Faire’s fifteenth day: L$17,047,087 (US $68,188). Remember, you can still visit the Fairelands and appreciate their realms through until May 10th.