WILLIAMSPORT -- Thousands of people in central Pennsylvania are preparing for the 71st annual Little League World Series in South Williamsport.
Every year before the big games, the players are treated to a giant party across the river in Williamsport -- the 13th annual Grand Slam Parade kicks off Wednesday evening.
"We thought it was early to set up our chairs for the parade, but it looks like it's pretty full already this morning," Lisa Angelo said.
Angelo made it to West Third Street around 11 a.m. Wednesday. Luckily, she found a spot where she'll be able to see the floats and the teams up close.
"It's going to have to be OK because I'm not walking around looking for another spot."
Upwards of 40,000 people are expected to make their way to Williamsport for the 13th annual Grand Slam Parade and Festival.
The big event kicks off the 71st Little League World Series that takes place just over the river in South Williamsport.
"I mean it's cool because you get to meet new people from different places," said Trent Morrison of Williamsport.
Banners welcoming the Little Leaguers and their families are hanging in several store fronts downtown.
With 16 teams from around the globe competing at the games next week, Williamsport is saturated with tourists.
"It's our chance to showcase to the world," said Alicia Keller at Genetti Inn and Suites. "It is literally Williamsport showing off our little town to absolutely everybody."
"This is a bucket list thing. I've been a baseball junkie all my life being to experience a bucket list thing and my son is involved in it is, I don't have the words to put into the emotion," said Steve Calder. "We are over the moon about it."
Calder and his family came from North Carolina to see his son Jacob play in the Little League games.
"I think I've cried the last week more than I have cried in the last 10 years just of pure pride and emotion going through. All the hard work and dedication has really paid off for them, obviously, for being here," Calder said.
The first game of the Little League World Series is Thursday at 1 p.m. in South Williamsport. The games continue until August 27.
Find live scores, stats, records and more on our 2017 Little League World Series page.