Gonzales set to host Dixie Youth World Series in August

Staff reports
Dixie World Series Committee chairman Gregg Patterson speaks with Loyson Porta during a meeting Feb. 9 at the Gonzales Civic Center. The committee is seeking additional volunteers.

The City of Gonzales in conjunction with many community leaders and volunteers will host the Dixie Youth World Series Aug. 6-12. Twenty-four teams will participate from the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. The undertaking by the city will involve over 300 volunteers from Ascension Parish.

Gregg Patterson is the chairman for this enormous event set to bring millions of dollars into the local economy during this week.

“The economic impact is far reaching for an event of this magnitude,” Patterson said. “Hundreds of hotel rooms will be filled, dining, shopping, sightseeing and entertainment venues will all benefit from this weeklong event that promotes youth baseball in our area and the southeastern part of the U.S. This will surely be a boost to the local economy.”

The World Series Committee started meeting over two years ago to begin preparations for the event. Presently, more than 100 people are on the committee to serve and plan the event.  Most World Series committees have a public relations director to plan an event of this magnitude with a budget in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Volunteers and generous donations of individuals and local businesses are what is driving the success of this event.

 If you want to get involved, please contact one of the volunteers listed on the City of Gonzales website at www.gonzalesla.com. Contact information is listed under the Dixie Youth Information link.  Clay Stafford at City Hall can be contacted at 647-2841 for any other questions. The World Series Committee is still in need of 200 volunteers. Please consider getting involved.

EATEL is the major sponsor of the event. EATEL has sponsored a team in the Dixie Youth since it began in Gonzales 50 years ago.

“When we thought about doing this event, the company that first came to our minds was EATEL,” Patterson said. “In baseball terms they stepped up to the plate and hit a grand slam with their financial and volunteer commitment to help make this a success.”

LeBlanc's Food Stores, Baton Rouge Coca Cola and Capitol One Bank are other major sponsors as well as many other local businesses and generous supporters in our community.

The event will kick off on Friday, Aug. 6 with opening ceremonies at Spartan Stadium. This includes a fireworks show, Mardi Gras parade with throws, live entertainment and a special guest appearance by Governor Bobby Jindal – all free to the general public. Games will be played daily during this week.

All teams, coaches and the general public are invited to Alex Box Stadium for a Fellowship of Christian Athletes sponsored event Sunday, Aug. 8, free of charge to the general public. LSU head coach Paul Mainieri will speak and you can visit Alex Box Stadium.

Host families are needed to greet and be a main contact for the teams participating during this week.  A calendar of events and brackets for games will also be posted on the site.

The World Series Committee meets in June.