SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

It was a big afternoon over at Westmont College Wednesday, as Santa Barbara was named a host town for the upcoming 2015 Special Olympics.

The July games will take place in Los Angeles of next year and this will mark the first world summer games to be held in the United States in 16 years.

A host town means that Santa Barbara will be providing visiting athletes the opportunity to learn about and experience American culture and the community.

Westmont has also agreed to provide housing and training facilities for over 100 athletes.

More than 7000 athletes from 177 countries will be competing in the event and the host town program starts July 21st next year.