Relay For Life is kicking off today.

The annual Cancer Society event will begin with the opening ceremony at 11.30am.

Wanganui Cancer Society manager Simon Aitken said about 40 teams were taking part in the 24-hour walkathon this year at Cooks Gardens.

"The size of each team is growing by the year," he said.

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"The team captains are the key supporters that organise their team as well as inspiring the team members to fundraise."

Relay For Life in Whanganui is the Cancer Society's biggest fundraiser of the year.

"We aim to raise over $100,000 at this year's event. Money raised goes towards supporting the Cancer Society's support services for those in our community living with cancer."

Mr Aitken said more than 600 team members would be walking the tracks this weekend.

The event is open to the public and people are encouraged to come along particularly in the afternoon when many of the activities are on, and at 8.30pm tonight when the remembrance ceremony is due to start.

"Many hundreds of other supporters will join in, particularly on the Saturday afternoon and evening when we have fun entertainment, and the emotional remembrance ceremony to remember loved ones later that evening."

Entertainment includes the Wanganui Brass Band, the Lone Piper, and special 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and today music hours.

"We will have a few surprises as well as face-painting and balloon-making for the younger ones."