Laurel prepares to roll out welcome mat for historic Dixie Youth World Series

Laurel prepares to roll out welcome mat for historic Dixie Youth World Series

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - Laurel city officials, economic developers and volunteers are preparing to host nearly 1,000 visitors from across the South for the upcoming Dixie Youth World Series.

Five different tournaments in two separate age groups will be held over a two-week period beginning July 29.

It is the first time all five events will be held in one location.

Organizers are hoping the community will help make the event more enjoyable for the players, coaches, officials and families who will be participating.

The Jones County Economic Development Authority will be handing out goody bags to each player, and the organization is inviting local businesses to donate items for each bag.

Suggestions include sunscreen and bug spray, as well as state/local lapel pins and items with individual business logos.

"A lot of things we're putting in the bags are information about our restaurants, our stores, coupons to stores," said Larkin Simpson, vice-president of the EDA and the Jones County Chamber of Commerce. "Any companies that might have items that they want to share, kind of talk about the history and heritage of Jones County, really just give people an idea of what they can do when they're not at the ballpark."

To find out more, call 601-649-3031 or email

Meanwhile, 55 host families will be needed to assist individual teams. If you would like to help, you can call host family coordinator Jo Anna Newcomb at 601-477-4049.

"You're basically there to cheer the teams on, to give them a Gatorade when they need one, if they need any help in Jones County, where to find a restaurant, where to go and practice, we're there to help them," said Newcomb.

Jones County also hosted the Dixie Youth World Series in 2009 and 2013.