By Elaine Haskins firstname.lastname@example.org
DuBOIS — The official “grand opening” of Showers Field will be celebrated in a big community event to be held on Saturday, May 7.
The public is invited to join the City of DuBois for the “City Classic” High School Varsity Baseball Game at Showers Field. The DuBois Central Catholic Cardinals will take on the DuBois Area High School Beavers at 6 p.m.
However, the game between the two area rival schools will not be the only entertainment provided that evening. There will be giveaways and entertainment between innings – including a donut race, a mascot race, singers and a homerun derby. After the game, a live band, “The Ride,” will perform and the night concludes with a Zambelli fireworks display.
There will be free admission and those attending will receive a commemorative ticket. The gates will open at 4:30 p.m. Also, the first 500 to walk through the gates of Showers Field for the “City Classic” Game Day community event will receive a free seat cushion from S&T Bank
Officials from the City of DuBois, DuBois Central Catholic, DuBois Area High School and Penn State DuBois and the Greater DuBois Chamber of Commerce have been planning the special community event for weeks, said city Manager John “Herm” Suplizio.
“On behalf of the City of DuBois, we are really looking forward to this event,” said city Manager John “Herm” Suplizio. “It’s been a long time coming. Obviously, the game is one thing but the City of DuBois thinks both schools are tremendous educational facilities which go right along with Showers Field, which we think is one of the nicest baseball stadium for our area and definitely for a city of our size.” Suplizio also said the city is proud that Penn State DuBois is part of the community as well.
“We are looking forward to the whole community coming out and watching the game, along with the events that will be taking place during the game and after the game,” Suplizio said.
DuBois Area School District Assistant to the Superintendent Roger Collins is also looking forward to the Game Day event. He noted that it is great to hear people from out of town that come into the facility and talk about that it is in a small town like DuBois. The event, he said, is a way to celebrate what everyone in the community has done to make this happen.
“I’m really excited about this night because it’s the culmination of a lot of planning,” Collins said. “We started way back planning the field with the initial meetings here and to see the fruition of all that planning and hard work. And to organize a night like May 7, it’s going to be just an awesome experience for the entire community.”
“There has been a lot of planning, a lot of organization and a lot of work going into preparing for this evening,” said Collins. “All we need now is just great weather, it will be a great night.”
“It’s good for the whole community,” said DCC Headmaster Mike Armanini. “We have such a showpiece of a field and to inaugurate this way, there is no doubt that baseball is synonymous with DuBois, and this is a nice evening that everybody can come and see all the talent that is in DuBois.”
Armanini said both schools should be very proud of both of their programs.
“I think the students are looking forward to it because the students, they have been playing sport with each other all of their lives. The students of both schools, they’re friends, and this is a rivalry, but it is also a time they are getting together with their friends,” Armanini said. “I think one of the nicest things that I enjoys seeing at night is riding by and seeing the lights on Showers Field. It just gives you a good feeling knowing that if you want, you can go over and watch a baseball game.”
“I think it’s great that the two schools are getting together to do this,” said DASD Director Scott Farrell. “It’s a big community event. It’s fantastic for the community to see the two schools together. The kids grow up together, they play sports together. It just makes it a little more fun for them.”
Ken Nellis, athletic director at Penn State DuBois, said the event is going to be good for the city and for the schools.
“It is more than the game,” Nellis said. “It is all the people from the city together for a great night of baseball and plenty of entertainment.”
Showers Field has been a godsend for Penn State DuBois, said Nellis.
“The students at the university had wanted a baseball team for many years, but we never had a facility that was appropriate,” Nellis continued. “So when this came to be, the impact for us is huge because we have 23 new students that wouldn’t be here, we battle enrollment fiercely right now.”
Nellis also said the environment at Penn State DuBois baseball games has been fantastic.
“We have had a great turnout. The IUP game a couple of weeks ago, we had 500 fans. Typically, we get about 250,” Nellis said. “In between innings, it’s almost like you are at a Major League game.”
Chamber Executive Director Jodi August said the chamber is very happy to be a part of the “City Classic.”
“We’re excited for the official grand opening and we support the city and the school districts in all of their efforts toward having such a great stadium,” August said.