Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet announced his city's status as a ``host town'' for the 2015 Special  Olympics World Summer Games, which will be held in Los Angeles a year from next  month.

   About 100 communities from San Luis Obispo to San Diego will participate in the host town program July 21-24, 2015. Host towns provide rest, training and cultural events before the Special Olympics, which will be held July 25th-Aug. 2nd.

   More than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries are expected to participate in the games, according to the Special Olympics. 

   Pougnet will speak about the city's involvement at the Palm Springs Visitors Center, where he is scheduled to hold a news conference starting at 10:00 Thursday morning.

   The host town program has existed since 1995.

   ``The host town program is an exciting way for Southern California locals to open our doors and show the athletes and coaches from around the world our hospitality and our culture,'' said Patrick McClenahan, president and CEO of the Los Angeles games organizing committee.

   The Special Olympics World Games alternate between summer and winter every two years and feature more than 20 Olympics-style sports. The last winter games were held in 2013 in South Korea, and the last summer games in 2011 in Athens.