Posted: Jul 17, 2012 4:03 PM by Scott Breen - Q2 Sports
BILLINGS - The Big Sky State Games Opening Ceremonies kick off 37 sporting events Friday in Billings. Modeled after the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, Friday's event will celebrate the positive athletic atmosphere of sports and competition. As a bonus, the first 500 entrants will be able to enjoy a free barbecue.
Gates open to a carnival atmosphere at 5:30 p.m. at Wendy's field at Daylis Stadium. Park with ease at the YMCA and ride the shuttle to the stadium. Early activities include a Fun Fair including an inflatable slide and obstacle course, autograph with Olympic Gold and Silver Gymnast Olga Korbut, sponsor booths, sports demonstrations, athlete T-shirt pickup, souvenir sales, and other interactive events. State Games t-shirts, as well as variety of other souvenirs, will be available for pick up and purchase.
The 5K Road Race, sponsored by CHS of Laurel, gets underway at 6:15 p.m. and finishes with a lap around the track. Competitors will be able to see themselves finish on the Jumbo Screen. The Pierce Leasing sponsored Fitness Walk begins at 6:20 p.m. and will also finish inside Daylis Stadium after winding through Pioneer Park.
The Ceremony continues with the traditional Parade of Athletes at 7:30 p.m. All 37 sports of the Games will be represented and recognized by the crowd. State Games athletes are invited to join the Parade and will receive a State Games snap-back hat.
A variety of entertainment will be showcased including performances by Cara Bear Don't Walk, winner of the State Games online National Anthem competition, the Marine Corps Color Guard and Eugene Sara Detachment of the Marine Corps.
The Montana Mile will begin later in the evening, featuring Montana's fastest milers including defending champion and record holder Lois Ricardi Keller formerly of Gardiner. The night will culminate with the lighting of the State Games Torch by Olympic Gold and Silver medal Gymnast Olga Korbut.
Admission to Opening Ceremonies is $5 for adults and free to children 6 and under. Athletes are admitted with their Opening Ceremonies ticket. Wendy's presents Opening Ceremonies. Major sponsors of the Games are Kampgrounds of America, First Interstate Bank and Montana Cycling and Ski.
Opening Ceremonies Schedule
• 5:30 p.m. - Gates open featuring T-shirt pick-up, souvenir sales, concessions, music, information booths, sponsor booths and interactive booths.
• 6:00 p.m. Olympic Gold and Silver Gymnast Olga Korbut is signing autographs
• 6:15 p.m. - 5K Road Race
• 6:20 p.m. - Fitness Walk
• 7:10 p.m. - 2012 7th and 8th grade volleyball medal presentation
• 7:15 p.m. - 2012 Big Sky State Games High Point Dancers
• 7:20 p.m. - 5K Awards (top three overall)
• 7:30 p.m. - Parade of Athletes (Free State Games snap-back hat to participants)
The following activities are scheduled
• State Games Cheerleaders
• Marine Corps Color Guard and Eugene Sara Detachment of the Marine Corps
• Big Sky State Games National Anthem winner Cara Bear Don't Walk
• Mayor Tom Hanel
• Drawing - Marina Cay Weekend
• Gymnastics Demonstration
• Olga Korbut-4 Gold and 2 Silver Olympic Gymnast
• Athlete Oath
• Senior High Drum Corps
• Montana Mile
• Youth Athlete of the Year, Male and Female Athletes of the year and Olga Korbut