The Lexington area prepares to welcome 16 teams from 11 states for the 2010 Dixie Youth Baseball 'O' Zone World Series Saturday, July 31 through Thursday, August 5 at the Lexington Sports Complex just off Highway #1 on Ball Park Road in Lexington.

Sixteen teams from 11 different states (240 players and coaches) including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia will compete for the championship in this annual event. There will also be a host team from Lexington, S.C. The other four teams are runners up from these states. The 'O' Zone World Series brings youth ages 11 to 12 to participate in the eight-day tournament.

Baseball fans will enjoy a home-run derby July 30 at 2:00 p.m. at the Lexington Sports Complex. Admission to the derby is $1 per person with all proceeds going to the Dixie Youth Scholarship Fund. Winners of the derby will be awarded their trophies at the opening ceremonies later that evening.

Opening ceremonies will be held Friday, July 30 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Lexington High School Football Stadium. The event is free to the public. After the parade of teams, fans will enjoy brief remarks from local officials, a special musical performance, and keynote address by Jonny Thompson, head coach of the 2010 Class 4A South Carolina High School Championship White Knoll High School baseball team. Members of the National Championship South Carolina Gamecock baseball team have also been invited as special guests of the event (but are unconfirmed at this time).

World Series baseball games will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 31. The South Carolina and local Lexington County team will take the fields at 8:00 p.m. against Alabama and North Carolina respectively.

General admission costs:

Ages 12 and up - $6
Ages 6-12 - $4
Under 6 - Free

This will be the first Dixie Youth Baseball tournament to be broadcast nationwide through an arrangement made though SCETV. The last three games of the tournament will be available for viewers at home via a live feed to PBS stations around the country.

Merchandise including hats, polo shirts, t-shirts, shorts, baseballs, commemorative cups, and other items will be available for sale. Concession stands will be open throughout the tournament selling hot dogs, nachos, French fries, drinks, candy and other food items.

Windstream will be bringing its Lifetime Tour to the ballpark Saturday, July 31 through Monday, August 2 with the company's vintage 1953 green pickup, an oversized Plinko game and prizes.

More information, including an online store for merchandise, can be found at www.ozone2010.com.

NOTE: Requests for media credentials should be emailed to Kim Asbill at kim@asbillpr.com before Thursday, July 29.