BRADENTON — Are ye ready fer Bradenton’s new mascot?
Today’s the day the Bradenton Marauders, the high Single-A baseball team set to begin its inaugural season Thursday at McKechnie Field, unveil their mascot at this morning’s DeSoto Heritage Festival’s Children’s Parade.
The unnamed mascot will serve as the parade’s Grand Marshal, sitting in a convertible and waving to spectators as the parade leaves the Manatee County Fairgrounds in Palmetto at 10 a.m.
“He’s going to stay true to the roots of the Pirates organization,” said Stacy Morgan, the Marauders coordinator of sales and marketing. “He’s going to fall in line with their entire theme.”
Will it be a pirate with a hook? A parrot with a patch?
All will be unveiled today, when the mascot leads the parade on a route through Palmetto that goes south on 10th Avenue West and along Fifth Street West before settling at Lamb and Sutton parks.
It’s at the park where the Marauders will begin gathering names for their mascot. The event, called The Party at the Park, includes food and other children’s activities, and is expected to run through 2 p.m.
Vendors will sell food at Lamb Park on the east, and activities and games will be set up at Sutton Park on the west.
The Marauders are a minor league affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates and will play a 140-game schedule with 70 homes games, beginning next Thursday, when they host the Fort Myers Miracle at 7 p.m.
“We get a warm-weather city all year round,” said Pirates general manager Neal Huntington. “It will encourage coaches and staff and players to move here and to live here, and it will really enhance the year-round elements of the facility. So we’re very excited, and it’s a great opportunity for us.”