Rocky Mtn. State Games opening ceremony star-studded

Organizers of the 2010 Rocky Mountain State Games appear to be pulling out all the stops, adding Olympic gold medalists, a celebrity appearance and contestants from “America’s Got Talent” to next weekend’s three-day competition.

The opening ceremony Opening Ceremony, which includes the parade of athletes and official torch ceremony, kicks off at 7 p.m. July 30 at the Colorado Springs World Arena.

The event concludes with the lighting of the cauldron by 2010 Olympic Bobsled gold medalist Steve Holcomb of Colorado Springs, who piloted his “Night Train” sled to a USA triumph in Vancouver.

Holcomb continues the tradition of Olympians chosen to light the torch at State Games openings in Colorado Springs in recent years, including medalists like Rulon Gardner, Michelle Kwan, Apolo Ohno, Derek Parra and Henry Cejudo.

Recording artist, television host and American Idol performer Kimberly Caldwell will headline the Games’ Opening Ceremony. Her debut album, Without Regret,” will be released on July 27, just ahead of her prformance. The rock/pop star’s performance will be sponsored by AT&T, and 2,000 tickets to the event will be donated to the area’s military families.

ACRODUNK, the acrobatic, extreme slam-dunk performance team from NBC’s America’s Got Talent will also entertain the athletes and fans.

Colorado athletes from more than 120 towns and cities will make their way to Colorado Springs to compete in 35 sports at 23 venues across the city during the Games, and with one event, cycling, taking place in Salida.

Attendance is expected to top 8,000, with athletes and their families coming to the Pikes Peak region from Colorado and Wyoming. For ticket information visit www.ticketswest.com or call 576-2626. Tickets will also be available at the World Arena box offices.