It may have rained on their parade, but that did not stop the walkers, riders, skaters and fans from enjoying the eighth annual Grand Slam Parade Wednesday night.
At its peak, an estimated 45,000 people watched the parade, said Joey Foster, of the Northcentral Counter-Terrorism Task Force. It dropped to about 30,000 fans as the rain started pouring and people sought shelter or a way home.
Some fans, such as Phil "Uncle Phil" DePasqua, of Williamsport, came prepared with umbrellas, or in his case, a tarp.
Mexico fans came dressed for action as they head for the route for the Grand Slam Parade Wednesday.
"It's a minor inconvenience," he said. "We haven't missed (a parade) yet."
He was joined by Lillian Garrett, of Williamsport, who helped bring about the parade years ago when she worked as a personal secretary for Lundy Lumber. Carl E. Stotz asked her to send letters to other cities to get new Little League teams started.
The number of fans did not match last year's parade when local team Keystone waved to their large crowd, but some players from the team, such as Brandon Miller, of Lock Haven, came back to watch the parade again.
He and his family watch the parade every year to see the teams.
"It was different being in the parade than being here (on the sidelines)," Miller said. "It's back to normal."
His sister, Brittany, also sat on the sidelines, even though she once twirled in the parade.
The family arrived around 4:30 p.m. to save their seats, which seemed necessary as spots quickly were taken.
Their father, Chip, stood with his son on the float last year because he was one of the team coaches. His wife, Lisa, often asked why they never were in the parade and he said he only wanted to be in it once and that was when the team made it to the World Series.
"It was amazing," he said.
Through the years of twirling and baseball, Lisa said her favorite part of the parade was watching her children in it.
This year, Kristi Williamson, of New Castle, Ind., had the chance to see her son, Niah, in the parade.
"This is the first time in history we made it to the Little League World Series," Williamson said. "We're here to make Coach Danny Smekens, his dream come true. He passed away a year and a half ago. It was his dream and vision we make it here."
She arrived in Williamsport a few hours before the parade started and immediately went to the parade to see Niah, whom she has not seen since Saturday, and the smile on his face for being at this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"We're so happy and proud of our boys," she said.
Freta Muthler, of Williamsport, has watched the parade for the past five years for the thrill of seeing the international teams.
Over the years, she has watched it grow.
One thing she liked about this year was the rule people were not allowed to throw candy from vehicles.
"Sooner or later, someone is going to get killed," she said. "It's too dangerous."
While teams were a popular reason to attend the parade, they were not the only reasons, as became apparent from the numerous children holding "Got Pins?" signs and plastic bags for candy.
Food stands also were set up along the parade route to feed the people who arrived early to claim their territory.
"The hot dogs are flying off the shelves," Abby Walker, of Williamsport, said.
This was the third year that Trinity Episcopal sold food to raise money for its outreach missions.
They began selling their hot dogs and baked goods around 4 p.m. because once the parade starts, the food sales slow considerably.