SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — Hundreds of young baseball players are descending upon South Williamsport.
The games of the Little League World Series are scheduled to begin on Thursday with teams from around the world competing for the title.
The start of the Little League World Series may still be days away but teams from around the world are already arriving at the Little League International Complex.
Teams from Japan and Tennessee were out on the fields practicing and said they`re feeling both excited and nervous.
“It`s kind of both at the same time: ready to play but it`s kind of, with as many fans it`s kind of nerve wracking,” said Cole Carter with the Tennessee team.
Matt Keltz is both a parent and the coach of an American team who is here from a U.S. Air Force base in Germany to represent Europe. He and his son are thrilled to be in South Williamsport.
“It`s awesome, it`s awesome,” said Keltz with team KMC American from Ramstein, Germany. “It`s, I don`t know, words can`t describe it right now.”
“I’m excited to be here because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Keltz’s son Levi.
And if the players and their families are excited to be here, businesses in the Williamsport area are welcoming them in with open arms. With thousands of people expected from all over the world, the series is a grand slam to make big bucks.
“August is by far one of our best months and we really look forward to Little League,” said Jodi Onell-Zimmerman, manager of the Bullfrog Brewery on West Fourth Street in Williamsport.
Employees at the restaurant say they every night of the series is a busy one.
“During Little League it can be tables of 15, 20, 30 people and it`s a lot of fun and all of the staff really gets into it,” said Odell-Zimmerman.
And of course, most of those visitors will be staying at area hotels.
At the Towne Place Suites, employees say it`s a chance to earn extra money but also to make new friends.
“The human interest stories and people telling you why they`re here or how many times they come back, year after year after year,” said hotel manager Donna Miller.
The Little League World Series starts Thursday with the annual parade taking place Wednesday evening.