How many people does it take to make McQuade happen?

BISMARCK, N.D. - It's one of the busiest weekends in Bismarck all year.

The annual McQuade tournament kicks off officially with the first game on Friday night. But months and months of planning go into getting ready for three full days of fun and softball.

Soon hundreds of teams, thousands of players and spectators will be taking over the Bismarck Mandan area. For more than 40 years this tournament has raised money for charities in the area. And it couldn't happen without all the volunteers.

Shirts, food, water, schedules and more. It all has to be in place so the players and umpires are set to go for the dozens of games that will be played this weekend.

“It's not that everything goes exactly as planned so you have to be able to adapt to the situations as they arise,” co-tournament director Mike Wolf said.

Wolf has been helping to organize the tournament for 28 years, and he has volunteer umpires that come in early to help set up for the weekend.

“You don't do it for the money, you don't do it for the recognition, it's all for charity,” volunteer Jennifer Smith said.

This group from Missouri is helping to handle the chaos in the days leading up to the tournament, before the real madness begins.

“There's no relaxing, you get an agenda and like every 30 minutes you're supposed to be somewhere different so it's very exciting,” Smith said.

Wolf says they have close to 1,000 volunteers throughout the weekend taking tickets, recording scores and selling shirts.

“A lot of those volunteer groups that help with the tournament also receive proceeds from our tournament,” Wolf said.

And he says getting to hand out the money to some of those groups on Sunday is the best part of the tournament.

The Bismarck and Mandan Parks and Recreation departments will be working throughout the weekend to make sure all the fields are set and ready to go for each game.