This weekend marks the beginning of the baseball season at West Lincoln Optimist Park and officials hope it will bring the community together.
Festivities kick off at 6:30 p.m. today at 6:30 p.m. and from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturday
Players past and current, plus sponsors for this year will be recognized at the event.
â€œThis is the first time an opening ceremony has been done in a long time,â€ said Amy Adams, a volunteer. â€œIf things go well, we may try to do it each year, but it takes a lot of support and time from parents and the community.â€
Ball season, which starts this Saturday, will run until the second week of June. There are more than 450 children on 35 teams.
Friday nightâ€™s highlights include raising a new flag, face painting and a disc jockey.
Morning games on Saturday will be covered on Lincolntonâ€™s WLON 1050 AM Sports Talk Radio. There will be free giveaways, food and a dunking booth for players to dunk their favorite coach.
There will also be drawings for children in four different ball fields every 30 minutes. Prizes include softballs, tickets to a ball game and the chance to win a bicycle.
Sponsors for the event include Wal-Mart, K-mart and other community organizations.
There are also several projects those involved with Optimist Park are working on, including a web site.
Sponsors for the project include Saine Hardware, Carolina Trust Bank, West End Housing and Mitchemâ€™s Kitchen.
The Lincoln School of Technology will be doing the web site as a school project. It is expected to be up and running by this weekend. The web site is www.westlincolnoptimist.com.
â€œWe were lucky to find the School of Technology, who decided to make it their year-end project,â€ Adams said. â€œThey will also help maintain it.â€
The Optimist Club is also looking for volunteers to help with projects such as working on the parking lot and helping to raise funds for more equipment.
â€œI want this event to show the community what we can do if we all pull together,â€ Adams said.
by Amy Wadsworth