Connie Mack World Series parade brings back memories
Many local residents have been part of the annual event since they were children
FARMINGTON — As Jamie Breakell waited for the Connie Mack World Series parade to start downtown today, she talked with her son and niece about when she participated in the event as a teenager.
Breakell was a member of the Farmington High School color guard, and she marched with the high school band in the parade.
"I would twirl my flag and toss it up in the air and enjoy seeing all the people watch me go down the street," she said. "I had so much fun."
In addition, her parents housed players as a billet family for 10 years, and her mother, Debbie Cutler, is a former committee member for the tournament.
"I love Connie Mack," Breakell said.
Bloomfield residents Chris Archuleta and his son, 3-year-old Cruz Archuleta, showed their Connie Mack spirit by waving flags near Brown's Shoe Fit Co.
As a baseball fan, Chris Archuleta said he likes watching the players' competitive spirit.
"May the best team win," he said.
Standing at Main Street and Commercial Avenue were Tera Cope and her four children, ages 2 through 11. The tournament and its related activities are a tradition the Farmington family enjoys.
"It's something Farmington does. I love it. It feels like our thing. It brings everybody out to celebrate," Cope said.
She remembers attending games as a child and now shares those stories with her children.
"I remember going with my parents. We'd eat junk food and just watch the game," she said.
Students from the Emmanuel Baptist Church summer camp had fun collecting candy and other goodies tossed by participants during the parade.
This was the second year that two classes from the church participated in the parade and the first time teachers brought students to watch, said Age Woody, one of the summer camp teachers.
"I think they get to see their community coming together, and it shows that we are all working together to get things done," she said.
Parade organizer Kevin Wilcox said on Thursday all 17 teams were scheduled to participate in the parade, and there were approximately 45 entries, ranging from floats to dance teams.
"The parade is a great way to start off the tournament," Wilcox said. "It's a chance for the community to introduce itself to the players and the players to introduce themselves to the town."
Opening ceremonies were scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. today at Ricketts Park. But the ceremonies along with the fungo skills challenge and the home run derby were rained out.
Additional activities include a special guest at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Ricketts Park during the break between the end of pool play and the beginning of the double-elimination bracket tournament.
Chris "Tanto" Paronto will talk about his service as an Army Ranger and being a private security contractor who was a member of the security team that responded to the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
May said Chris is the son of CMWS chief umpire Jim Paranto.
She said she invited Chris to speak because there are no games scheduled for Monday, and she believes the players could learn about teamwork and preparation from his presentation.
Admission for the event is $5 with open seating, and players can attend for free. Tickets are on sale at the Farmington Recreation Center next to Ricketts Park and at the gate before the event.
Reporter Joshua Kellogg contributed to this report.
Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.