Boys dressed in the colors of the Oakland A’s celebrate the start of the 2023 youth baseball and softball season during the Dick Kelly Memorial Parade, sponsored and organized by the Moses Lake Youth Baseball Association and the Columbia Basin Girls Softball Association.
Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald
Susan Schwiesow, a longtime softball enthusiast and organizer, was honored by the Columbia Basin Girls Softball Association on Saturday.
Players with the Lady Hawks girls softball team blow a long trail of bubbles as they make their way down Fourth Avenue during the annual Dick Kelly Memorial Parade on Saturday, the formal start of the city’s youth baseball and softball seasons.
Girls on one of the teams in the Columbia Basin Girls Softball Association celebrate the start of the softball season in the Dick Kelly Memorial Parade on Saturday.
Decorated pickup trucks make their way down Fourth Avenue during the annual Dick Kelly Memorial Parade marking the formal start of the youth baseball and softball season Saturday morning in Moses Lake.
Boys in New York Yankee team colors enjoy the parade.
Staff Writer | April 24, 2023 1:20 AM
MOSES LAKE — Their uniforms bore the colors and the insignia of Major League Baseball – the Yankees, the Mariners, the Rockies, the Cubs.
But the backs of their jerseys all had the names of their local business sponsors – Jensen Farms, REC Silicon, Stetner Electric, The Six, J. R. Simplot.
And they came out in force: kids of all ages with their parents, coaches and sponsors, all on brightly decorated pickup trucks through downtown for the annual Dick Kelly Memorial Parade, jointly organized by the Moses Lake Youth Baseball Association and the Columbia Basin Girls Softball Association. The parade marks the leading off of the spring youth baseball and softball seasons.
“It’s incredibly important,” said Moses Lake Mayor Don Myers, one of the judges of this year’s float contest. “With baseball and with softball, they help groom them for high school and college. Get some of the basics, get them in team sports, gives kids something to do. It’s a positive for this community.”
Spectators lined up along the parade’s route from the Surf ‘n Slide parking lot, east along Fourth Avenue, then north along Ash Street, west on Third Avenue and then south along Dogwood Street, coming to an end in the parking at McCosh Park for a formal ceremony to introduce the teams, honor longtime Moses Lake Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department employee and softball organizer Susan Schwiesow and celebrate the start of the season with a hot dog picnic.
“I just want to thank the community and the city of Moses Lake,” Schwiesow, who just retired after 30 years with the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department. “It’s been an honor and a pleasure just providing and working with all the groups and all the kids in our community.”
“We’re out here because our son is 10 and he’s on the Orioles and we’re excited about the season,” said Shawn Koethke, an insurance agent with Country Financial who sat with the rest of his family along Fourth Avenue as they waited for the parade. “This is a big deal every year, and that’s why there’s a whole bunch of kids that participate.”
“The town really enjoys youth baseball and softball and supports them,” Koethke said.
During the celebration formally marking the start of the season, Myers said he wanted to thank both the sponsors and all the volunteers with both the softball and baseball associations for making the season possible.
“Your efforts and the financial support are essential to the success of our league,” he said.
And then, in an amphitheater full of eager parents and kids, Myers said the words that just about everyone gathered to hear on Saturday.
“Is everybody ready to play some baseball?” he asked.
Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.