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It’s almost time to “Play Ball!”

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Former Little League coach Eugene Decareau, 95, and his wife will serve as Grand Marshals in Opening Day parade


Saugus Little League Baseball and Saugus Softball Little League are gearing up for a historic Opening Day next Saturday, April 20. For the first time in recent memory, the two leagues will be joining in a parade, which will begin at 9 a.m. from a staging area at the old Oaklandvale Elementary School at 266 Main St.

The parade route, which is new from the one used in recent years, will proceed west down Main Street to the newly renovated Elks Field adjacent to the Saugus-Everett Elks Lodge #642 at 413 Main St. The oldest living former Saugus Little League Coach, 95-year-old Gene Decareau, and his wife, Arlene, will be leading the procession of cars and walkers as this year’s Grand Marshals.

Saugus Little League President John Benoit – the father of four Little Leaguers, said he’s expecting a big crowd for next week’s event. He credits the success of the league to the diversity of the organization, which ranges in age from four to 12 years old.

“It’s enabled us to start rebuilding the fields,” he said.

The league features four divisions this season, with a split Minor Division (AA and AAA).

  T-Ball: Little League Baseball Ages 4-6.

  Coach Pitch: Little League Baseball Ages 6 -7.

  Minor: Little League Baseball Ages 7-10.

  Majors: Little League Baseball Ages 10-12.

Three generations of the Cole Family are involved in the league. Bucky Cole will sing the National Anthem. He will be joined by his son, Craig, who coaches two boys.

Work is continuing at Elks Field, which has undergone considerable work in recent weeks, including a new infield, a fresh coat of paint around the park, some removal and pruning of trees and other work to get the field looking good and in playing shape for the 2024 season.

There won’t be a food truck this year, as the Elks have donated 1,000 hot dogs, according to Craig Smith of the Saugus Little League.

Selectmen last month approved the parade route, contingent upon the Police and Fire Departments approving a safety and traffic plan for the day.

In addition to the Opening Day ceremonies, league officials are planning to have some entertainment, including a DJ, face-painting and a photo booth. League officials continue to work on more plans for the day, particularly the parade, which will have boys and girls marching together for the first time.

A rain-out date has been set for Sunday, April 21.

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