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Heading to Cooperstown? What you need to know for Hall of Fame weekend

By ANNA MEILER

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WKTV) -- If you're heading to Cooperstown for Hall of Fame weekend, you're one of 50,000 baseball fans cramming into one village.

"Got here about five o'clock this morning. I wanted to get a good parking spot. That was the biggest thing," said Bill Vinci.

Many parking spots on side streets will be blocked and Main Street is shut down for most of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

"We could see the crowds coming in as the week went on. Each day, there was a bit more energy a bit more people, so it's better safe than sorry with things like this," said Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz.

With so many people heading into Cooperstown this week it's the first time they've shut down Main Street in years, but Mayor Katz says it's all part of the fun.

"There's cool baseball merchandise which I love, there's a lot of autograph signings, there's a lot of food vendors on the street, great Cooperstown restaurants that have outside grilling, and there's a lot of people milling around," he said.

But getting here may be tricky. If you're driving, plan on leaving early in the morning. Your best bet is parking in one of three trolley lots and tickets are good all day. Many residents are also opening their lawns, charging about $30 to park. But, two words could save you a big headache: public transportation.

"The hall of fame has arranged for Birnie Bus Service in Rome to provide shuttle service between downtown Cooperstown on Fair Street over to the induction ceremonies at the Clark Center. Brewery Ommegang has parking there just south of the village and transportation from there and for our part, Oneonta Public Transit are putting on buses on Sunday from Oneonta which is just about a half an hour away to get everyone here so everyone's pitching in," said Paul Patterson, director for Oneonta Public Transit.

"Preplan, check out where you can park, you can go on the hall of fame's website to find out where the parking is, find out where you can park, get shuttle service in and out of town. That makes it the easiest for you and the easiest for us," said James Cox of the Cooperstown Police Dept.

But, whether you're coming for the parade Saturday packed with hall-of-famers, the induction ceremony swearing in six big names Sunday or maybe the chance to eat lunch next to some of the greats, it will be worth it.

"It's like going to a sold out ball game, you end up having a good time with the people who sit with you so think of it that way and you're in Cooperstown so how better could it be," said Mayor Katz.

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