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Little Leaguers’ stay could be homer for Oak Harbor
Barbara Bourg can see the baseball fields from her antique store.
She isn’t quite sure what to expect once the Washington State Little League baseball tournament for 9- and 10-year-olds gets going July 13-21 at Windjammer Park
“Some people might get a little tired and wander and we’re always happy to see them,” said Bourg, co-owner of Shady Ladies Antiques & Collectables on Bayshore Drive.
Oak Harbor’s businesses could get an economic boost over the next week as roughly 230 players and coaches representing 13 teams from throughout Washington will be visiting the city.
Parents and family members often accompany the players at this age group, multiplying the number of guests to the city.
Erica Wasinger, president of North Whidbey Little League, expects about 500 visitors.
All-Star teams from the state’s 13 Little League districts, from Richland to Ridgefield, will be represented. Each won their district title to get to Oak Harbor.
“This is the youngest age group that has a Little League all-star team in this state,” Wasinger said. “This is their first time to go to any tournament, much less a state tournament. Historically, they get really excited and everyone (from their families) comes to watch.
“It’s fun to watch.”
Games begin Saturday, July 13 at 10:30 a.m. at Windjammer Park. The tournament will start with an opening ceremony at 9 a.m.
Sedro Woolley is the nearest team, representing District 11, which covers Skagit and Island counties. Sedro Woolley defeated South Whidbey, 13-6, on the Fourth of July to advance to the state tournament.
The site of the state tournaments rotates through the districts. Wasinger said Oak Harbor has hosted several district tournaments but couldn’t remember the last time it hosted a state tournament for Little League baseball.
“It’s been a while,” she said.
Kathy Reed, executive director for the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce, couldn’t be happier.
“When people are in town for more than a couple of days, they get to see what Oak Harbor has to offer,” Reed said. “It can be a huge boost not only for the economy but hopefully people love and enjoy their time here and want to come back in the future.”