Come for the Games, Stay for the Atmosphere

The competition over two days at the 48th annual Special Olympics Southern California Summer Games will be the main attraction, but there also will be plenty to see and do as you explore the California State University, Long Beach campus on June 10 and 11.

Live entertainment, booths, athlete health services (Healthy Athlete Village), and more, will be available. All events are free to the public, unless otherwise noted. For a full map of the Summer Games, CLICK HERE.

Here’s a rundown of what you can expect to see:

Opening and Closing Ceremonies

Watch from the stands Saturday as more than 1,100 athletes from 27 delegations enter Jack Rose Track and take part in the Parade of Athletes at 9:30 a.m. Included in the festivities will be the Law Enforcement Torch Run running with the “Flame of Hope” and lighting the cauldron to signal the start of the Games. Performances will include singers from the Los Angeles Academy of Performing Arts.

On Sunday, the Games will wind down with Closing Ceremonies starting at 3 p.m. and feature a performance by Kerry Fenster at the Festival Stage.

Full Fan Experience

Come out and cheer on 1,100 of Southern California’s most inspiring athletes. The Games are free and open to the public, and we want to fill the stands. Attend as a fan, or create a cheer team with your family and friends. When you arrive at the Games, stop by one of the Fan Zone Booths at the west side of the Pyramid (by the parking lot) or in the Festival. You can create and gather cheer gear, learn about cheer guidelines, and be directed to a venue that needs Fans in the Stands! To register your group for exclusive fan opportunities, CLICK HERE.

In added bonus to being a Fan In the Stands is a Fan Experience Tour of Summer Games and Special Olympics. During this tour, a Special Olympics athlete will lead you through the competition venues, Young Athletes demonstration, Healthy Athletes Village, the Festival, and Law Enforcement Row. You’ll cheer on the competing athletes before and after the tour. Tours are available on Saturday and Sunday and are approximately one-hour long. To register, visit

Finally, get the proper equipment to be a fan at the FAN ZONE. The FAN ZONE is located south of the Pyramid near the Barrett Athletic Center. Here you can create signs and get other fan gear to cheer on the athletes during the Games.

Breakfast with Champions*

The event celebrates the passion of sports, with leaders from the business and sports worlds coming together to honor the accomplishments of Special Olympics athletes. The program will include a Parade of Champions, featuring Special Olympics athletes, U.S. Olympians and notable sports champions, as well as testimonials from athletes and parents. The keynote speaker will be UCLA men’s basketball head coach Steve Alford.

*This is a limited, ticketed event. Learn more here.

Family Pavilion

There will be something for all ages at the Family Pavilion. Families of athletes will be able to relax, connect with other families, and enjoy refreshments and activities. Kids will be able to enjoy face painting, sign making, raffles and games.

Each day will also have a special meal. Saturday will feature a barbecue lunch courtesy of the Long Beach Police Officers Association from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday will include a pancake breakfast served by the Long Beach Firefighters, Local 372 from 9 to 11 a.m.

Hours of operation are: 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.


Located in Parking Lot 15, the Festival will be home to live entertainment, sponsor booths, law enforcement displays, games, arts and crafts, and much more.

Here is the entertainment stage schedule:


Time Performance
11 to 11:30 a.m. Torrance Stake Youth Chorale
12 to 12:30 p.m. Merriweather II
12:30 to 1 p.m. Free 2 Be Me Dance Teams
1 to 2 p.m. KNS Rockstar
2 to 3 p.m. Ronny North
3 to 4 p.m. Blu Productions
4 to 5 p.m. DJ PWD

SUNDAY, JUNE 11, 2017

Time Performance
9 to 9:30 a.m. DJ Music
9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Larry Covin & Friends
10:30 to 11 a.m. Merriweather II
11 to 11:30 a.m. Handicapable Square Dancers
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Bon Family & CA All-Star Cloggers + HIP Workshop
 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Hi Hopes
 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Kevin Navis Southern Soul Band
 2:30 to 3 p.m. DJ Music
 3 to 3:30 p.m. Closing Ceremony

Healthy Athletes

When the athletes aren’t competing or enjoying the Festival, they will be taking advantage of the free screenings made available to them thanks to the clinicians in attendance. The six disciplines are: Fit Feet, FUNFitness, Health Promotion, Healthy Hearing, Opening Eyes and Special Smiles.

Hours of operation are: 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Rafer’s Boutique

Commemorate your experience at Summer Games with some swag. Attendees will be able to purchase souvenirs and merchandise at the official store for Summer Games and Special Olympics Southern California. Hats, T-shirts, tote bags, and more, will be available.

Young Athletes

Start ‘em young, right? Young Athletes, an introductory program for children ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities, will feature a few new attractions.

The traditional Young Athletes Festival will have activities focused on walking and running, balancing and jumping, trapping and catching, and throwing. Hours of operation are: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.

New to this year’s Summer Games will be a pair of Rising Stars experiences. Young Athletes, ages 6 and 7, will apply what they have learned and demonstrate their talents in basketball and athletics. The basketball experience will take place Saturday from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. at the Walter Pyramid and the athletics experience is scheduled for Sunday from 1 to 1:30 p.m. at Jack Rose Track.

Athlete Dance

Exclusive to athletes only, the dance is one of the more anticipated events of the weekend. It gives the athletes a moment to relax and let loose on the dance floor with their friends after the first day of competition. The dance also will have a Healthy Athletes station. * – This event is for 2017 Summer Games athletes only.

Dream House Raffle

We’ll find out who the grand prize winner will be on Sunday at the Student Union Terrace. Of the 2,000 prizes, the top 30 will be drawn on-site; the others will be drawn prior and posted for those in attendance. The drawing will start at 11 a.m.


  1. […] While official activities don’t start until 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, there is plenty to do and see. CLICK HERE for a look at everything going on outside the competitions. Live entertainment, booths, athlete […]


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