At least 5000 people are expected to be here on the coast for the 47th annual Dixie League World Series. It's an event the city of Pascagoula has been preparing for all year. Some game officials have already arrived in town, but the majority of the players and and their families are expected tomorrow.
City leaders are doing all they can to make their guests feel welcome. Volunteers spent Saturday morning putting up banners and flags to welcome out-of-towners to Pascagoula for the Dixie League World Series. Organizers say they want everyone to feel at home.
"We tried to roll out the red carpet. We are the hospitality state, and so we want to show them that that's what Pascagoula is all about and also Jackson County," says Amy Brandenstein, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.
"The whole city of Pascagoula is just excited about it. This is something that we've been working on for the past two years now. And to see our facilities here come together and all the people coming into town, it's just going to be a big event for Jackson County," says Randy Haarala, Host Team Manager.
Crews put final touches like asphalt and gate lining on and around the field. It cost the county about 420-thousand dollars to get the fields ready for this big event. Officials say that was a small price to pay since the fields needed repair anyway, and they expect an economic impact of at least 1 million dollars.
"It's wonderful for all the businesses here, but at the same time, it prepares us for possibly getting future events here, maybe in the next couple of years," says Brandenstein.
Once the players hit the field, it's all about the game. Randy Haarala is the coach for one of the host teams. He says the excitement of the series is something that the entire county feels. And the closer it gets to game time, the more the players realize the significance of the event.
" I think our kids here are just realizing how big this event is as we put the final touches on the complex here. And some of the visitors are coming in from out of town. They're really realizing this is going to be a special thing and something they will remember for the rest of their lives," says Haarala.
Organizers say they are confident that all their hard work in preparation will make a lasting impression on the guests and maybe the Dixie League World Series will come back to the area again.
by Myya Durden-Robinson