DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The Alabama State Games are taking place all across the Wiregrass this weekend and are now officially underway.
All the fun festivities began with an Olympic style opening ceremony at the National Peanut Festival fairgrounds.
Inclement weather delayed the parade of athletes and the rest of the opening ceremony events, but competitors waited out the rain.
“Obviously, we want them to be here because it’s for them and we put in a lot of hard work,” Alabama State Games Executive Director Dean Kelly said.
The theme for Friday night’s opening ceremony was “Olympic dreams start here.”
2022 is the 39th year that the Alabama Sports Festival Foundation has put on the State Games.
This is the fifth year they’ve been held in the Wiregrass.
“People are very welcoming,” Kelly said. “The people of Dothan, Enterprise and Ozark are so good to us. There’s plenty of venues.”
The games are hosted by Visit Dothan and the cities of Dothan, Enterprise, Ozark as well as Houston, Coffee and Dale Counties.
The event brings in roughly $800,000 in visitor spending to the Wiregrass, according to Visit Dothan CEO Aaron McCreight.
About 2,500 athletes from all across the tri-state are competing in this year’s games.
“I like the competition and competing to be the best of the best and be the best you can,” Navarre, Florida, native Michael King said.
People of any age are able to compete in one of 27 sports that make up the games.
The foundation tries to encourage kids to be not only good athletes, but good citizens as well.
“We want to try to help kids not only with sports, but also in academics and other things,” Kelly said.
The state games run all weekend long with the final events wrapping up on Sunday.
For more information on the Alabama State Games and how you can watch all the action you can visit the website here.