WESTFIELD, NJ — Players and their families participated in the annual Westfield Youth Baseball and Softball Parade on Saturday. The event celebrates the official start of the 2018 season by parading from Mindowaskin Park to Gumbert Fields.

Local dignitaries, including Senator Thomas Kean, Jr., attended the parade to celebrate the season kickoff.

“This sport, this tradition is all about families,” Kean said as he recalled attending the parades with his daughters.

Sign Up for E-News

Noah Ament, president of the Westfield Baseball League, welcomed the players and thanked everyone who made opening day a success, including the Westfield Department of Public Works.

“Everyone take a deep breath, enjoy the fresh air and the great weather,” Ament said.

Mayor Shelley Brindle was unable to attend the event due to a previous commitment, but Councilwoman Linda Habgood, a former youth softball player, spoke in her place.

“Work hard, listen to your coaches and commit to the team and you will reap huge rewards,” she said.

After official announcements and ceremonial “first pitches,” players and their families enjoyed carnival rides and activities before several teams participated in optional scrimmages throughout town.