While this year's ninth annual Grand Slam Parade will have new fun features, such as the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, a more serious side also has emerged.
Because of the Boston Marathon's bombings in April, security will be beefed up at the Little League Baseball-sponsored parade Wednesday, said Jason Fink, executive director for the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau. The bureau organizes the parade.
The bureau is working through the Williamsport Bureau of Police, who are in contact with state police, the sheriff, and Penn College police, he said.
The 16 Little League teams will be on floats in the parade.
"We ask that people not give things to the Little League teams for safety reasons," Fink said. "We need to provide as much safety for all participants and viewers."
The grand marshal will be Major League Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry, leading off the 143 parade units. The parade's 10 divisions are named after those with Little League Baseball ties.
The two-piece parade pin set will be offered again this year, featuring the parade's logo.
Between Market and Hepburn streets downtown, Fourth Street will close at 2 p.m. Downtown festivities begin at 4 p.m. At 5 p.m., a section of Fourth Street between Susquehanna to Rose streets will close. Once the parade begins at 6 p.m., the remainder will close as it processes east, beginning at Susquehanna Street on Fourth Street, down to Market Street.
Fink said people need to stay out of the streets for safety reasons because of the large vehicles in the parade.