CONNIE MACK

Connie Mack parade attracts large turnout

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON − More than a thousand people came out to brave the late morning surge in temperature and found shady spots while celebrating the 2022 Connie Mack World Series kickoff parade Thursday in downtown Farmington.

The 12 teams competing in the series, as well as luminaries, such as parade grand marshal and longtime series administrator Carol May, took part in the festivities down Main Street, which brought out fans of all ages.

May, who has lived in Farmington for more than 40 years, has worked for the Farmington Parks and Recreation Department for more than 30 years and was named "Woman of the Year" by the AABC in 2009. She served as Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Connie Mack World Series committee from 2015 through 2018.

Mayor Nate Duckett also took part in the parade, waving to fans and supporters of the CMWS, which is traditionally one of the most important events on the city's calendar.

"There's nothing like this event when it comes to how tremendous the support is," Duckett said. "Between the host families and the crowds at the ballpark during the week, it's really a defining moment for us every single year."

The parade is just one of several events held in Farmington before actual game play in the tournament gets underway Friday morning. Opening ceremonies Thursday night at Ricketts Park will also include the annual home run derby.

Members of the Southern California Renegades greet fans and walk down Main Street across from the Orchard Park Plaza in downtown Farmington during the Connie Mack Parade, Thursday, July 21, 2022.

"It's really one of the most humbling parts of the whole experience," said Midland Baseball head coach Dave Evans regarding the reception teams receive when coming to Farmington. "The way this town goes out of their way for these kids and this tournament is second to none."

On Wednesday, the Farmington Civic Center served as the destination for all 12 teams competing in the World Series, with players and coaches making the journey from as far away as Florida to compete for the right to be 2022 Connie Mack World Series champions.

Players were introduced to host families while also being greeted by members of the CMWS committee as well as from the American Amateur Baseball Congress. In all, nearly 300 athletes from all over the country will compete over the next 10 days for one of amateur baseball's most coveted prizes.

"The event and the excitement around it never ceases to amaze me," said Dallas' D-Bat United head coach Ryan Bonesio. "The fans, the players, every year it seems there's always something bigger about the event."

The parade, navigating the tricky turnarounds along Main Street in downtown Farmington, featured bands and dance teams from area high schools as well as local and area businesses supporting the tournament.

Farmington mayor Nate Duckett takes a ride down Main Street across from the Orchard Park Plaza during the Connie Mack World Series Parade, Thursday, July 21, 2022.

Pool play action for the Connie Mack World Series gets underway Friday morning and continues Saturday with games at Ricketts Park, as well as Worley Field and the Farmington Sports Complex. The City of Farmington will be represented in the tournament by the 505 Panthers, coached by Piedra Vista head baseball coach Jeff Kiraly.