The Gay Softball World Series (GSWS) is celebrating its 40th birthday in Austin, Texas this year from August 15-20. With 180-plus teams from the U.S. and Canada participating, that means an influx of 5,000 sports fans to Austin; some 3,000 players and approximately 2,000 fans. As the major annual tournament of the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA), there are still some competitions going on among the organization’s 43 member cities to see which teams will head to Austin for the 3Cs –competition, camaraderie and celebration.
With the theme of Deep in the Heart [of Austin], the Austin GSWS 2016 committee is hard at work ensuring that everyone who comes to town has a fun and memorable experience that will last far beyond this year. That shouldn’t be difficult to achieve since Austin is consistently voted as a top gay city in North America.
The City of Austin is in Travis County and both are excited to welcome the GSWS to the area as is Softball Austin, the local softball league. “Softball Austin is eager to welcome our NAGAAA friends and family for the 40th GSWS,” said Commissioner Albert Rodriguez. “The Austin GSWS committee has been working hard, and while there is still a lot of work to do, we are confident the plans we have in place will provide a great experience to all the GSWS attendees. We can’t wait to show you that NAGAAA and softball are firmly entrenched Deep in the Heart of our city and our league!”
A twist to mark this birthday celebration comes in the opening ceremony. Rich Segal, Austin 2016 GSWS executive director and Austin’s liaison to NAGAAA’s 40th GSWS committee, says that “Rather than introducing the cities in alphabetical order we are going to bring them out by the year they joined NAGAAA. We feel this will be a proper and fitting way to get a quick and memorable glimpse into NAGAAA’s history.”
Headlining the opening ceremony will be singer-songwriter Kristine W. Adding to her record-setting streak of most consecutive number one hits on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs chart will be songs from her new album. According to Larry Davis, Austin GSWS 2016 events director, “… trust us when we say she’s going to give it everything she’s got!” The closing ceremony will be a block party with Grammy award-winning and Billboard’s number one DJ
Dave Audé and other top Austin DJs spinning the night away.
Here’s a peek at the week:
Monday – Registration at host hotel, the Hilton Austin and Opening Ceremonies at Long Center
Tuesday – Softball at the fields and Hall of Fame Banquet at Bullock Museum
Wednesday – Softball at the fields and Casino Night Charity Event
Thursday – Softball at the fields
Friday – Softball at the fields and Street Party
Saturday – Championships at the fields and Closing Ceremonies
Thanks go to Prudential, NAGAAA’s National Presenting Sponsor; Oil Can Harry’s, Austin’s Local Presenting Sponsor; and major sponsors, including Nissan, Coors Light, All American Athletics (official bat sponsor) and AD Starr (official ball sponsor) as well as the over 2,000 volunteers from a dozen LGBTQ non-profit organizations and the local Austin GSWS 2016 host committee for their willingness to make the GSWS a great event and birthday party!
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