Local News

Special Olympics Festival Opens

Posted Updated

RALEIGH — Another phase of the Special Olympics World Summer Games began Sunday.

As athletes began their competition, the week-long "World Games Festival" is another way the public can get a taste of the spirit of the games -- and it's free.

Despite a few raindrops, athletes, families and people from across the Triangle made their way to the Meredith College campus to check out the first day of the festival.

And if people listened, the international nature of the event became very clear. English was spoken with accents; other people happily spoke their native language when asked. It is a microcosm of the world, assembled on just a few acres of Wake County.

Connie and Mickey Hawley of Garner brought their children to the festival.

"It's these athletes that are the role models, not really the professional athletes. The Special Olympics participants have the qualities we want to instill in our children," Mickey Hawley said.

The festival will run until July 3, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the Meredith College campus. Meredith is on Hillsborough Street, just inside the Beltline, also known as US 440.