More than 10,000 athletes are putting on their game faces for Lehigh Valley SportsFest. The 16th annual event kicked off Thursday night at Cedar Beach in Allentown.
Organizers say the atmosphere is more relaxed this year with about 33 events in parks around the region this weekend.
Three pointers, fouls and rebounds. Boys and girls basketball tournaments started the weekend off right. In its 16th year, Sportsfest hasn't lost its luster with the players or the fans.
"It's pretty awesome, all the fans out here," said Jared Bernhart. "Great competition, it's really nice."
"It's fun, I just like being with my team and playing basketball the sport I love so I hope we go far," smiled Gia Erie.
But this year organizer Ray Atiyeh is the one still looking for a team mate. He tells us he wants someone to take over the annual athletic showcase so he can scale back his involvement.
"I would like to see a strong corporation with staff run it," he explained.
Atiyeh wants to make sure SportsFest has a long term future. Right now it's completely run by volunteers, and Atiyeh says organizing it is a full time job.
"They're already making notes for next year what to do," he said.
It's a workload he can't keep taking on alone.
But he says athletes don't need to worry, there are no candidates yet, and he doesn't plan on pulling the plug anytime soon.
"I won't drop the ball," said Atiyeh. "That's a definite because this is a great event and I will be breaking a lot of hearts if I do that."
Some of the events do have registration fees, and Atiyeh says that money pays for referees, t-shirts and trophies. The 4-day celebration of amateur athletes of every kind continues through Sunday.