Strike up the band, because there’s a parade coming to town.
Get ready to party Saturday when the city celebrates the Lemon Grove Little League’s history making run to the Senior League Baseball World Series with a “Salute to Lemon Grove’s Hometown Heroes Parade” in downtown Lemon Grove.
Among the participants to escort the Senior League All-Stars along the parade route will be engines from Heartland Fire & Rescue, marching bands, dancers, veterans groups, Miss Lemon Grove, and an impressive array of custom, vintage and tricked-out cars and motorcycles.
Lemon Grove represented the Western region in the international baseball tournament held last week in Bangor, Maine, and was unbeaten in pool play to become the U.S. Champions. And while the team fell short of grabbing the top title in Saturday’s championship game—Guatemala took the win 6-3—they captured the hearts of those who cheered them on.
The parade will travel the city’s historic parade route, stepping off at the intersection of Broadway and Grove Street at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25. The parade will travel down Broadway, turn at the “Big Lemon” onto Lemon Grove Avenue, and end on School Lane next to the Recreation Center and new Lemon Grove Academy for the Sciences and Humanities.
A community bash will start at 5 p.m. at the Rec Center, featuring an afternoon of free entertainment, games, and music, and a celebration honoring the team. Food will be available for sale, with proceeds benefitting the Lemon Grove Little League.
Rounding out the festivities will be a community movie night, starting about 8 p.m. “Dolphin Tale,” the 2011 movie starring Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman, will be shown free outdoors at the Rec. Participants should bring lawn chairs or blankets for the grass.
This is the first parade the city has staged in eight years, according to City Manager Graham Mitchell, whose son played T-ball this year for the Lemon Grove Little League’s Padres Blue team. And Mitchell himself was catcher for his Little League's all-star team.
“Besides celebrating the Lemon Grove All-Stars team, I’m looking forward to seeing a community come together and how the residents interact,” Mitchell said. “It is what I love about Lemon Grove—it epitomizes the small town feel from yesteryear.”
Parade attendees are encouraged to park near the Rec Center.