Updated Wednesday August 8, 2018 by Doug Garrett.

The 2018 Dixie Softball "MEGA" World Series in Alexandria, Louisiana, kicked off with the Players Banquet and Opening Ceremonies in the Rapides Parish Coliseum.  This is the first time in Dixie Softball history that one city has hosted all 9 Dixie Softball World Series tournaments.  The parents and fans were grouped by states in the stands surrounding the oval shaped floor area to cheer on their favorite teams as they entered the arena.  Eighty-three (83) teams in all nine World Series divisions marched into the Coliseum floor level grouped by states and were greeted with cheers and applause by their adoring fans during the “Parade of Stars” Opening Event.  As the Host Teams entered the arena, Mardi Gras music played and the other teams as well as the nearly 3000 people in attendance were treated to a Mardi Gras themed parade complete with the Host Team players throwing beads, doubloons and cups.  The teams were served Popeye’s Chicken Tenders, a chain that originated in Louisiana, while the parents, fans and Dixie Officials were served Louisiana Creole Jambalaya.  The teams along with their parents and fans were welcomed to Alexandria by Mayor Jacques Roy along with some other local government officials.  At the end of the Opening Ceremonies, the players participated in a gift exchange where players bring bags with themed gift items from their state and exchange them with players from another state.