When Major League Baseball brings the All-Star Game to the Great American Ball Park this summer, not everyone will be able to go out to the ol’ ballgame.

But thanks to a lot of community-minded businesses and volunteers, some of the excitement of the game is coming to you.

Baseball Across the Region is a community-wide effort that will make the event more than ballgames. It will be a weeklong celebration befitting a gathering of the top players of the game known as America’s favorite pastime. There may even be some peanuts and Cracker Jacks in there somewhere.

Right now, a ceremonial ball—akin to the Olympic torch—is making its way around the region on its way to becoming a permanent fixture in the Reds Hall of Fame. It has been to several public events in Northern Kentucky already, reminding fans there’ll be a lot of fun in store. It started its journey with the Crosstown Shootout in February and is expected to make stops in NKY libraries, higher education institutions, area tourist attractions and the airport. It will make appearances to promote literacy and reading and nonprofits.

The game itself isnt’t until Tuesday, July 14, but the fun starts Friday, July 10, with All-Star FanFest that continues through the end.

A Community Organizing Committee (COC) has been formed with the cooperations of the Reds and Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau to create a “unique, exciting and memorable” experience for visitors and locals alike all around the region. This will include programs and activities above and beyond sponsored events to engage the largest audience possible over the whole summer.

Brent Cooper of C-Forward and Ralph Dusing of Bluegrass Commercial Group are leading the planning group for the “regional baseball” initiative. So, of course, it’s sure to be lots of fun.

“We are trying to have local celebrities and politicians involved as much as possible,” Cooper says. “This is not just a game, it’s more a weeklong event. It’s going to have an economic impact on the whole region.

“This is all about showing people what this area has, and to remind ourselves of all the good things we have going on here.”

For more information, visit cincyusa.com/coc.