Pennsylvania's version of the Olympics will return to York County this week.

The 35th annual Keystone State Games Festival of Sports, presented by York College of Pennsylvania, is set to run from Thursday through Sunday.

The public is welcome to watch as thousands of amateur athletes participate in four days of competition.

York County is in the second year of a three-year run hosting the games. This summer will mark the eighth time overall that York has hosted the event, which features more than 30 different competitions, including field hockey, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, gymnastics, fencing and many others held at more than a dozen venues across York County and beyond.

This year’s games will also include the 2016 Keystone Lacrosse Championship, bringing as many as 48 boys' teams from all corners of Pennsylvania.

In addition, the 33rd biennial Pennsylvania Senior Games will run concurrently with the Keystone State Games. Competitors will have the opportunity to qualify for the 2017 National Senior Festival in Birmingham, Alabama.

Economic impact: “Last year’s Games were a monumental success in York County, but 2016 promises to be even better,” said Anne Druck, president of the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau in a news release. “We’re thrilled to welcome athletes from all over Pennsylvania and the surrounding area. We expect that close to 14,000 athletes and spectators will visit York County this week and generate an estimated $10 million in total economic impact for our community. That would bring the two-year total to more than $17.8 million, with more to come in 2017.”

Festivities will include a special welcome at Thursday night’s York Revolution baseball game at PeoplesBank Park. The public is invited to help welcome the athletes while enjoying a night out at the ballpark when York renews its War of the Roses Series with the Lancaster Barnstormers. The game begins at 6:30 p.m., and tickets are $14.

For more information about the Keystone State Games and Senior Games, as well as tentative schedules and competition locations, visit

History: The Keystone State Games came about because a resolution introduced by Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (Chester County) and approved by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1980.

Keystone State Games, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, was formed in 1983, with the help of former Gov. Richard Thornburgh, so the games would not be solely dependent on government funding.

In honor of their contributions, Pitts and Thornburgh were part of the inaugural Keystone State Games Hall of Fame Class, honored earlier this year. They join the late Owen J. Costello, Ronald Lench, Harold Rosenn and John Reese as members of the KSG Hall of Fame.

York College will offer a special website welcoming competitors and will host several of the festival's sporting events at its athletic facilities. For more, visit