Frugal Family: Free Military Softball Championships to Be a Hit This Weekend

There also is free and $2 skating at Sparkles in Hiram this summer.

We're all watching our family budgets these days. Whether shopping with coupons or looking for two-for-one deals, we're taking advantage of all sorts of offers and savings that help us stretch our dollars.

This column will be dedicated to giving you five great local deals each week that will help your family’s bottom line. Since we do the scouting for you, you can save time as well as money.

You are a big part of this column. Let us hear about the deals you've seen. Just add them to our comment box. Then come back each week and see what we've uncovered together.

This week, Frugal Family reporter Carolyn Cunningham scoured our local sources to come up with free softball games at Mount Tabor Park in Dallas by the South’s military heroes this weekend, free and $2 skating at Sparkles in Hiram, free Zoo Atlanta for dads on Father's Day (with another ticket purchase) and links to HalfoffDepot.com and the Free and Cheap List of Atlanta's own national consumer expert Clark Howard:


1. Cheer Our Military Heroes

Deal: Paulding County residents will have a unique opportunity this weekend to view the 2011 Georgia Military Softball Championship at on East Paulding Drive off Ga. 92 in Dallas.

A home run derby begins at 7 p.m. Friday—one field for the military and the other for civilians. The winner of each receives a bat.

Opening ceremonies will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday in the Victory Garden at Mount Tabor, including a wreath-laying ceremony to remember the lost and missing members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The motto for this event is "Supporting Those Who Defend Our Freedom and Our Fallen Heroes Will Never Be Forgotten."

At the Mount Tabor softball fields on Saturday morning, there will be a jump from the Ft. Benning Silver Wings parachute team, the singing of the National Anthem, a flyover and the first pitches.

More than 40 teams of military heroes will compete for the Georgia Military Softball Championship. Teams will be coming from as far away as Delaware and Louisiana since the tournament is open to all military teams nationwide—men's, women's and co-ed.

Muscle Milk is the presenting sponsor with a guest appearance by Dan Uggla of the Atlanta Braves. Many other national brands will be coming to Mount Tabor Park for the tournament. 

Roger Hockey, of Howard County, Md., who has served as national director of the Military Softball Program for more than 25 years, will be at the event as well. Additional support has come from the Paulding Chamber of Commerce, Paulding Commission Chairman David Austin, Paulding Parks and Recreation Director Michael Justus and the Southeastern Military Conference.

Games will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday. On Saturday evening, the tournament organizers are having an event at at Ga. 92 and 120, where these military men and women will be treated to some fun downtime. Residents also are invited to stop by and welcome them.

will give away a free day at the spa for one military wife. Entries are still being accepted.

Times: Friday, 7 p.m., home run derby.

Saturday, 8 a.m., opening ceremonies.

Contacts: Bill Slaughter at bill@29promotions.com or 404-983-0150.


2. Free Sparkles on Thursdays

Deal: If you arrive at theno later than 7:45 a.m. Thursday, you may be seen on Fox5Atlanta's "Good Day Atlanta." Also, free skating or playzone will be offered all day to those who arrive that early. Bring your own skates, or rent from Sparkles for $3.50.

Free skating also is offered every Thursday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Parent chaperones are required. All adults must be accompanied by a child to receive free skating.

Monday Madness costs $2 for admission and $2 for skate rental from 4 to 9 p.m.

Location: 4054 Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway (U.S. 278) near Ga. 92, next to Walmart in Hiram.

Contact: 770-943-4446.


3. Free Zoo Atlanta for Dads

Deal: On Father's Day, you can take your father to Zoo Atlanta for free. This deal is good only on Sunday with the purchase of a full-price ticket for a child (ages 3-11) at $15.99 or an adult general admission ticket at $20.99. (Georgia state sales tax also is added to all prices.) However, parking is free.

Of course, this offer is not valid with any other discount or promotion and may not be combined with any other offer.

Hours: Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with ticket booths closing at 5:30 p.m.

Location: Grant Park, south of Interstate 20 and east of Interstate 75.


4. Half-off Tickets

Deal: Halfoffdepot.com offers certificates that can be purchased and redeemed for tickets worth double the certificate cost. Click on "All Products" next to the logo at the top, then "Attractions" or any other category to check out the newest deals. Certificates must be presented upon entry to eligible businesses.


5. Free and Cheap List

Deal: Here is a link to the ever-changing Free and Cheap List of Atlanta-based national consumer expert Clark Howard.


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