Merced Golden Lions hold 15th annual Youth Sports Parade

The sun came out just in time Saturday morning for the Merced Golden Lions’ 15th annual Youth Sports Parade in downtown Merced. The event started 10 a.m. Saturday, proceeding down West Main Street.

The aim of the event is to celebrate sports and encourage youths to participate in academic, sport, city and private leagues. Dressed up in their uniforms, hundreds of youths belonging to Little League and sports teams waved at the crowds during the parade, as onlookers along West Main Street yelled words of encouragement and took photos.

There were dance groups, marching bands, mascots and entertainers along the parade route. Opening games at the Merced Youth Sports Complex at V Street and Wardrobe Avenue happened after the parade.

“The parade went beautiful,” said Mick Reyna, co-organizer of the event. Reyna has hosted the event for 10 years and said about 40 youth sports teams participated in Saturday’s parade.

“This is what the kids need. (Sports) helps their growth, agility, thinking. It’s healthy living,” Reyna said.