CLEARFIELD – Clearfield County is set to welcome players and families from across the nation to the USCAA Small College World Series for baseball and softball. The tournament begins Sunday, May 13 and continues through Thursday, May 17.
Tourism Director Josiah Jones informed the Clearfield County Recreation and Tourism Authority board members Wednesday that this is the first time both the baseball and softball tournaments have been held in the same city.
There will be 20 teams, 450 players and two championships with 10-team elimination championship play Monday through Thursday.
Opening ceremonies will be held Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. with a banquet at the country club, followed by the Challenger Community Softball Game at 4:45 p.m. at the Rose & Dennis Heindl Memorial Field.
At 5:45 p.m. the parade of athletes will take place at Showers Field followed by the softball home run derby at 6:30 p.m., the baseball home run derby at 7:30 p.m. and fireworks at 8:30 p.m.
Information, including tournament brackets, can be found at uscaa.com or showersfield.com.
The board also approved several marketing and signage grants. The following organizations and their grant awards are: Clearfield Elks High Country Arts and Crafts Fair, $7,500; Clearfield County Fair and Park Board, $7,500; Clearfield Chamber of Commerce, $375; Clearfield Revitalization Corp., $4,700; Reitz Theater of DuBois, $7,000; Race Street Brew Works, $7,500; Clearfield Arts Studio Theatre, $2,000; Starr Hill Winery, $7,500; Santinocito’s Grocery, $792; Crick’s Convenience Store in Glen Hope, $2,000 and Eagle’s Ridge Golf Course near Curwensville, $2,200 for a total of $49,067.
Grant committee chairwoman Sue Williams said the committee went through the applications very carefully and did not always grant everyone the amount requested because the plans didn’t fully meet requirements.
For example, Eagle’s Ridge wanted to place signage inside the building and the grant money cannot be used for that.
Jones gave an update on marketing, visitor guides and so on. He said the office is almost overwhelmed with requests for visitor guides and many places where they are placed on racks run out quickly. He noted a former board member e-mailed him and said the guide is the best one he has ever seen.
The board voted to continue the contract with PA on Display to place guides at visitor centers along Interstate Highways at $9,700. Jones said they’ve been getting responses from people picking up the guides at those locations.
Also, reports from various marketing trackers indicate increased interest in Visit Clearfield County with over 174,000 impressions from the contract with digital marketing with the Fox television stations. An impression is when people stop to look at an ad online.
Additionally, the ads on the Groundhog Club Web site during February received over one million impressions and 7,000 clicks to visit the Web site. Jones said other reports continue to go up including a 10 percent increase in demand for overnight stays compared to last year.
Assistant Director Sue Swales Vitullo said she is working on creating more tourism packages and the current trend for bus tours is for grandparent-grandchildren tours and those aimed at a younger generation.
Recently she learned a tour bus company is bringing six groups to the Grice Museum and a two- to three-day tour from Lancaster is planned for 2019.