Waves of rain couldn’t dampen the jubilee Wednesday night in Williamsport, Pa.
Despite the poor weather, the Little League World Series opening ceremony parade went on as planned. Thousands of spectators lined the downtown streets to welcome this year’s competitors, huddling under umbrellas, or simply disregarding the rain, in order to get an up-close look at the young athletic
Among the teams showcased was the Petaluma Nationals, winners of the West Regional Final. The Northern California team earned its way to Williamsport by beating Hawaii’s squad 7-5 in the Regional Final on Saturday. Petaluma is the first Northern California team to make it all the way to the World Series since 2002.
The Petaluma boys didn’t appear fazed by the rain. Hats and uniforms dripping, they smiled brightly, waved to the crowd, and leaned over the side of their float to catch candy tossed to them by fans. Some of them looked shocked to be garnering so much attention and adoration, but they were clearing enjoying their moment in the spotlight.
The Petaluma team will play their first game at noon on Thursday. They’ll face off against a tough team from Fairfield, Connecticut, in Williamsport this year representing the New England Region. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.