FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — It’s the Baldwin County Special Education Spring Games this week in Fairhope, bringing out students from schools across the county Thursday and Friday for the two-day event.

“It’s our young people coming out here and enjoying an opportunity to be a part of something very special,” Superintendent Eddie Tyler said.

This year’s games are branded differently, but it’s the same purpose and spirit. After a year off thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, these students are back on the field showing off their skills.

“It feels good having everybody cheer y’all on?” WKRG News 5’s Blake Brown asked a student. “Yes,” Orange Beach seventh-grader Cove Wallace responded. Cove’s mom says it’s a week her family looks forward to each year, and they’re glad the games are back.

“It’s the best day of the year in Baldwin County. My heart is full,” Heather Wallace said.

With recent changes in policy in the Baldwin County Public School System, these kids are now mask-free. Superintendent Eddie Tyler says the positive cases of the virus in classrooms have drastically dropped and getting back to programs like this is an important step moving forward.

“Generally, sometimes in this business when you see a light at the end of the tunnel it might be an oncoming train. We see the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter that we will exit this school year excited about what we’ve done,” he said.

In order to keep crowds smaller, the games are divided between two days this year. The schedule is listed below:

Thursday, April 22
Robertsdale Feeder Pattern, Spanish Fort Feeder Pattern, Foley Feeder Pattern

Friday, April 23
Bay Minette Feeder Pattern, Elberta Feeder Pattern, Daphne Feeder Pattern, Fairhope Feeder Pattern, Orange Beach Feeder Pattern, Virtual School participants

Location: Fairhope Municipal Field 
Parade of Athletes: 9:30 a.m.
Lighting of the Torch: 9:40 a.m.
National Anthem: 9:45 a.m.
Games Begin: 10:00 a.m.
Ends: 1:30 p.m.