Memorial Day Weekend is a time that brings to mind not only the sacrifice of our armed forces, but also celebrating the lives we lead with good food and good fun. With the Bismarck Larks beginning their new season on Wednesday, they took the opportunity to introduce the city to the 2022 Larks team during their Memorial Day Flock Fest yesterday at the Bismarck Municipal Ballpark.
The Flock Fest featured a variety of meet-and-greets with the new lineup for the Larks and their mascots, as well as a vendor’s section for local independent businesses, photo opportunities, and a massive family fun area- complete with pitching speed testers, bounce houses, sand pits, and obstacle courses.
And what’s a Memorial Day celebration without food? Cookouts featuring hamburgers and hot dogs are a weekend tradition, and the Larks offered the same comforts at the Flock Fest with a buffet of grilled burgers, dogs, chips, cookies, and soft drinks. The North Dakota Beef Commission also got in on the fun and offered samples of ND-raised and cooked brisket along with their own homemade BBQ sauce.
The main event of the afternoon was, naturally, the ball game between the Larks and the Beefy Boys (sponsored by the Beef Commission, of course). However, this was no standard nine innings. The Larks put a few new and bizarre spins on the classic sport with their game of Birdball- which takes the basic rules of baseball and adds some extra oddity to the mixture.
New Rules of Birdball:
- The entire game has a one-hour time limit (not counting other factors).
- No Pitcher’s Mound visits.
- Batters are not permitted to step out of the batter’s box.
- There are no in-field foul balls- any foul that goes forward is considered in-play.
- A batter may attempt to steal first on any Pass Ball instead of just the third strike.
- When walking the bases, a die is rolled to determine how far the batter goes.
- If a fan catches a foul ball, it is considered an out.
- A ‘Flashy Catch’ (diving catch, catch with hat, etc.) is considered 2 outs.
- Batters and teams must celebrate on every run scored.
- In the event of a tie, the game will be settled with a dance-off.
Over the course of the three-inning game, the base-running order was reversed, foul balls were caught, and hilarious mischief from both the Larks and Beefy Boys ensued- including impromptu dance numbers, limbo contests, and a German Shepherd serving as the bat boy among other things. The game ended in a 2-1 victory for the Larks after the third inning.
The Larks’ PR team promised our journalist that this season will be full of the same humor and entertainment that was present during the Flock Fest’s round of Birdball. Although the games will be much more straightforward.
Here are some of our favorite photos KX’s on-site reporter captured from the event.
The Bismarck Larks will have their first official game of the season against the Rochester Honkers on Wednesday, 7:05 P.M, at the Bismarck Municipal Ballpark. For more information on the team’s schedule, game tickets, and future events, visit the Bismarck Larks’ website.