WESTFIELD, NJ — Congressman Leonard Lance has been tapped to serve as grand marshal of the Westfield Baseball League's annual parade April 22, when more than 1,000 people are expected to help celebrate opening day for youth baseball and softball.

“It's quite an honor to be part of Westfield's opening day parade,” Lance said. “Baseball is America's pastime and I’m looking forward to attending and cheering on the young players as they kick off the 2017 season.”

Players in grades kindergarten through 4 will march through Westfield beginning at 9:30 a.m., starting at Mindowaskin Park and ending up at Gumbert Park, where the league will host traditional opening day festivities. After speeches by town leaders are made and first pitches are thrown, the carnival will take place in the parking lot from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with food, rides and giveaways.

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The league will also host hitting and running contests and a food drive will set up at both parks to collect canned foods for a local pantry.

“The 2017 opening day parade and carnival is going to be the best one in years,” League Director Jay Berger said. “We added more special events and contests for the kids than ever before.  We are so excited to have all of Westfield's elected officials as well as Representative Leonard Lance walk with and share this special day with all of our kids.”

To learn more about the Westfield Baseball League, click here.