This year, Mahwah’s Annual Youth Sports Parade to ceremonially kick off the township rec program’s baseball and softball seasons is getting bigger. The event Saturday has grown from a morning parade for the program’s youngest players to a daylong event that includes competitions, clinics, potato sack races, a dunk tank, and other events for the older kids in the program.
The celebration will end with a coaches’ game Saturday evening.
“As kids are getting older, some are losing interest in playing baseball,” the program’s commission Joe Woelfel said. “We are coming up with ways to keep them more involved and engaged, so we thought a big blow-out celebration would be something players could look forward to.”
Woelfel, who is entering his third season as commissioner and has been coaching for about a decade, said the township’s rec baseball program, “is a great one. It gives the kids good experiences and learning opportunities, teaches them to play the game, and lets them have fun. That’s really what it’s all about.”
He said this year’s expansion may be the beginning of a trend. “This is our first year, so we’d love to see how it goes, and then grow the event in the future,” he said. “Our goal is to keep kids interested and engaged in playing baseball from the time they are five years old until they are 14, and we hope this can help us do that.”
Below is the full scedule and information from the Mahwah Youth Baseball website explaining the days' events:
8:45 a.m. - Tee Ball, Instructional and Pee Wee teams assemble at Betsy Ross.
9:30 a.m. - The parade kicks off. Spectators - Please line the parade route between Betsy Ross and Commodore Perry.
10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. - Hot dogs and juice are handed out to the kids. By 11:30 a.m., the younger kids depart to play afternoon games.
11:45 a.m. - Coaches from Mahwah High School's varsity softball and baseball teams will talk to the Mahwah Youth Baseball players.
12:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. - Hitting and pitching competitions for kids in grades three through eight, and an obstacle course.
4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. - Prizes are handed out
5 p.m. - The world's biggest egg toss - All Divisions Welcome
5:30 p.m. - Potato sack races - All Divisions Welcome; each team designates one player from the team to take part.
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Coaches’ game - baseball coaches vs. softball coaches
Vendors will be on hand selling Mahwah apparel and other merchandise, and Angels in the Outfield, a group founded by a former Mahwah Youth Baseball player, will be collecting gently-used baseball equipment to donate to needy baseball programs in New Jersey.
The day also will include:
- A number of prizes and giveaways.
- LIVE DJ
- A DUNK TANK - come dunk your favorite coach
Following the day's events, around 6 p.m. or so, baseball coaches will take on their softball brethren in a softball game. This should be an exciting event, and many coaches have been asking for this for years. The baseball Commissioner will serve as the starting manager of the baseball squad for the game. Half of the proceeds collected from the baseball coaches will go to Mahwah Youth Baseball while the other half will go to a worthy charitable organization.
Parking information: Parking for Mahwah Youth Baseball and Softball Day is available behind the Montessori school on East Ramapo Avenue, at the Ramapo Reformed Church across from the school parking lot, at the municipal lots by the train station, in the parking lot by Winters Pond.