DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The opening ceremony of the Alabama State Games were held at the Peanut Festival Fairgrounds.
People gathered for the parade of athletes and the lighting of the torch to kick off the games.
Plenty of food trucks and balloon animals were on hand to help get people in the spirit for some competition.
Athletes from all over the state and surrounding states have poured into the Wiregrass to compete.
Although the games have always been popular, this year even more people than usual are expected to attend.
After a year of cancellations, postponements, and restrictions due to COVID-19, athletes say it’s nice to be able to compete again.
“It’s mostly about having fun but also seeing how much we can do,” said gymnast Anosha Ghodusi.
Not only are the games an exciting time for athletes, they are also a major revenue boost for Wiregrass-area businesses.
Thousands and thousands of athletes coming to town, staying in hotels, shopping in retail shops, it’s a tremendous amount of economic impact coming into Dothan,” said Visit Dothan President and CEO Aaron McCreight.
After having to wait so long to play, event officials remind participants to give it their all but to remember what the games are all about.
Aaron mccreight/president and ceo of visit dothan
“Play safe and be safe but also have fun and compete in a great manner,” said McCreight. “That’s what these games are all about. Teaching kids of all ages to compete the right way and the right reasons and have a great time doing it.”
Around 25 competitions will take place over the weekend as part of the games.