The Out of the Darkness Overnight will start with a short, reflective and motivating Opening Ceremony framed by the setting sun. As the Overnight community comes together as a group for the first time, you can't help but be swept up in the excitement and anticipation as everyone prepares to start their extraordinary journey.
While remembering loved ones lost to suicide and those still suffering, we'll also acknowledge the sense of hope and determination inherent in this event and its participants. The community that took shape during your event preparations will grow and strengthen from this point on, providing inspiration for everyone involved.
After the Opening Ceremony, you'll set off on the route. You walk at your own pace and the distance that is right for you. As the Walkers take each step after the Opening Ceremony, they can be comforted knowing they are not alone – Crew Teams provide a valuable service by supporting them along the way. From Advance Route Marking making sure the carefully planned route is clearly marked to the strategically placed Stops and Midnight Meal the Crew is there to offer relief and encouragement every few miles. Sweep Vans, Motorcycle Safety, and bicyclists working Trail Sweep all patrol the route to ensure the safety of all walk participants. Medical and Participant Support Crew members also lend a helping hand for those Walkers with physical, mental or emotional situations during the Overnight.
Walking through the night among so many others united by a common goal will give you an entirely different perspective. Throughout the event, you'll feel safe and cared-for in a place where everyone supports each other and understands their need to be there. It's a place to cry, laugh, mourn, remember, heal, and look toward the future without forgetting the past.
Upon completing the route, everyone will gather back at the Ceremonies site on Sunday morning. Sweep vehicles will continue patrolling the route and can bring you all the way to the site of the Closing Ceremony if needed, to make sure you get there in time.
Perhaps the most moving moment of the night is returning to the ceremony site and being met with thousands of candlelit luminaria - each one representing a life touched by suicide. As the symbol of the Overnight these bags truly represent the importance of our mission.
The Closing Ceremony completes the event with a celebration of community and a reinforcement of your accomplishments. Imagine standing in the crowd amongst so many who have together completed this tremendous journey. Each has their own reasons, thoughts and memories, yet collectively you've all made a loud, proud statement that suicide and mental illness can and will be brought out of the darkness. That feeling will stay with you long after the walk has ended.