This year's WLST is Kentucky Derby themed, featuring horse, pony rides, and crazy hats!
Urbana, Ill. - The Fighting Illini softball team cordially invites you to the hottest softball promotion in the country, the 10th-annual World's Largest Softball Tailgate. The event will be held on Saturday, May 4, prior to Illinois' Big Ten matchup with Ohio State at 2 p.m. This year's tailgate has a Kentucky Derby theme, and will include horses, pony rides, a derby hat decorating station, inflatables, a live DJ and more. Everything is free to all fans, with activities beginning at 11 a.m.
Awarded the Best Single-Game Promotion for an Olympic Sport by the Big Ten Conference in 2006-07, the World's Largest Softball Tailgate has become one of the most popular and beloved spring traditions in the Urbana-Champaign community. Now in its 10th year, the WLST provides Illini fans with an electric atmosphere full of live music, interactive games, face-painting and of course tons of tailgate food and top-notch softball.
Over nine years of existence, the WLST has brought in an average of 998 fans to watch the Fighting Illini play. Last season's tailgate featured a crowd of 1,259 Illini Faithful, who were there to witness a doubleheader sweep of Penn State.
This weekend's series is especially crucial, as the Illini and Buckeyes are tied for sixth in the Big Ten standings. Both teams will battle for the series victory in the final weekend of the regular season in order to secure the best possible seed for the 2013 Big Ten Tournament, hosted by Nebraska on May 9-12.
Some of this year's special features include horses, pony rides and a chance to decorate your very own derby hat. There will be a live DJ spinning all morning, tons of food, and a bounce house and inflatable slide. Champaign Mayor Don Gerard will throw out Saturday's first pitch. Additionally, the first 100 fans to enter the ballpark will receive Illinois softball ballcaps.
In the event that there are any changes to this weekend's schedule, the World's Largest Softball Tailgate will go on as planned as long as the Illini play on Saturday.
For more information about the history of the WLST, click here.