By The Daily Times staff

FARMINGTON — This year s Connie Mack World Series will kick off with a parade in downtown Farmington Friday morning.

Starting at 10:30 a.m., the parade will run east along Main Street from Bowman Avenue to Wall Avenue. The parade, in its 49th year, serves as the start of the 2013 Connie Mack World Series, which runs Friday through Aug. 9.

Amateur baseball players from around the country and Puerto Rico will battle for the championship during the weeklong tournament.

Main Street will be blocked from South Lake Street to South Butler Avenue. Parade participants will need to line up at 9:30 a.m. at Bowman Avenue from either West Arrington Street or West Broadway Avenue.

The tourney begins Friday with a 5:15 p.m. game pitting the South Troy Dodgers against the East Cobb Yankees. The tournament winner will be crowned next Friday, Aug. 9.

All games are held at Ricketts Park, 1101 N. Fairgrounds Road, off of Sullivan Avenue in Farmington. Tickets are available only at the gate.

Two game sessions cost $5 for adults and $4 for students in high school and younger. Single-game sessions are $4 for adults and $3 for students.

Reserve tickets, if available, will cost $6 to $9 depending on the seat s location.

For more information on the parade, contact Kacie Nelson at 505-215-1313.

FARMINGTON — The first phase of improvements at Ricketts Park has been completed in time for the Connie Mack World Series, and officials say they look forward to seeing reactions to the updated facility.

The improvements include an updated ticket booth, new front gate, parking lot updates, new retail space and other access features to make the park compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"Hopefully, we've eliminated the issues of people having to stand in line in the parking area," said Kim Carpenter, series association board president. "We could have some challenges with the new ticketing booth early on. We're not quite sure of what to expect, but the facility itself is a big improvement. We've got a (park) that we think is going to be more user-friendly."

Phase one's improvements will also give fundraisers and donors to the renovation project a tangible sign that their hard work and money was put to good use, Carpenter said.

A little more than half of the improvements at the park were completed during phase one for $635,000, he said.

"The next phase won't start until the funding is there," Carpenter said. "We'll continue to ID funds for bleacher expansion."

In the meantime, the public should find the facility much improved, he said.

"I'm excited to see the feedback from people out of town," Carpenter said.

Farmington City Manager Rob Mayes said he is pleased with the project.

"You get that feeling of the magical world of minor league baseball," he said.

The community, donors to the renovation project and the Connie Mack World Series Association deserve the appreciation of the Farmington community, Mayes said.

"This will be 49 years of Connie Mack," he said. "That park was build by volunteers showing up with shovels and even then when the teams arrived here, they were stunned. I can't imagine what they'll think now. There's a real sense of pride in our hometown ballpark."

Mayes said he is looking forward to the series starting.

"It's a wonderful time in Farmington," he said. "I can't wait to be out there myself."

Greg Yee covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606 and gyee@daily-times.com. Follow him @GYeeDT on Twitter.