Thousands of people will converge on western Lincoln County in July for the Dixie Youth Girls State Softball Tournament.
The tournament will be held in mid-July, said Nathan Workman, vice president of the West Lincoln Optimist Club.
Excitement is already mounting within club. This will be the first time the West Lincoln Optimists have held the event.
â€œWeâ€™re real excited to be hosting it,â€ Workman said. â€œItâ€™s a big deal.â€
The tournament will bring about 50 teams of 12 girls from all over the state to western Lincoln County. Teams made of players ages 7 to 18 will travel from locations as far away as the Outer Banks.
With those girls come coaches, parents, family and friends. And all of those people will need places to stay and places to eat. That will be a significant amount of money pumped into the local economy, organizers said.
â€œThis is a lot of visitors coming into town, and we are very excited,â€ said Amy Adams, an organizer. â€œThis is going to be a huge event for Lincoln County.â€
The tournament will kick off Thursday, July 13 with opening ceremonies. A couple of special events are planned for the ceremony, but organizers arenâ€™t giving away their secrets just yet.
The actual softball games will start on Friday, and each team will play one game a day. The tournament could last into the middle of the next week, Workman said.
Although they have never hosted the event, the West Lincoln Optimist Clubâ€™s softball team is no stranger to state competitions. Two years ago the team won first place in the state and traveled to Louisiana to compete nationally, Workman said.
Although the tournament is still months away, club leaders are already making plans. Their biggest focus right now is raising funds and getting sponsors so they can make needed improvements at the Optimist Clubâ€™s park.
Anyone interested being a sponsor or helping out can call (704) 276-2182.
by Alice Smith