INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- With so many baseball fans coming to town for the All-Star Game, communities all around the metro are hoping to attract visitors, and they're rolling out the red carpet with all kinds of special events.
Independence says it's excited about the metro celebrating this All-American past time, since it is an All-American city. Banners are up all along the square and more will go up along the Truman Road corridor to help celebrate. Independence hotels are starting to get booked up. The city is a great draw for history buffs, especially since the Truman Library is planning a special two-week exhibit called the Presidential Pitch, starting June 29th.
"They've started setting up a great exhibit that showcases Harry and his love of baseball, and also Bess because she was a big if not bigger baseball fan than he was," says Cori Day of the Independence Department of Tourism. "That will be something to see because it's not stuff typically on display, so it's just a two week window for people to go see it."
Businesses on the Independence Square hope that people who come for the Library and Truman House, also check out the shopping and restaurants on the square. The Wild About Harry shop off the square already has a display hoping for an economic home run with baseball fans.
"It's going to be great, anything that brings a lot of extra people in will help," says Kevin Deen, manager of the store. "I know they're here for the game but they gotta do something else when they're here so might as well come here and do it."
Independence has lots of other events planned too, including a ceremony Saturday July 7th at Crysler Stadium retiring baseball jerseys of MLB stars from our area. There's also a youth baseball clinic at the stadium starting at noon. And to help showcase the new Independence Event Center, Third Day will play a concert there Saturday night at 7pm. There will also be a city sponsored watch party for the game itself at a location to be announced soon.
Just on the other side of Kauffman Stadium, the city of Raytown is also hoping to welcome baseball fans with open arms.
"Whether they are staying in Raytown or close to Raytown or just driving through, we want our best foot forward," says Vicki Turnbow of the Raytown Chamber of Commerce. "With the stadium being in our backyard, minutes from our city limits, we could benefit, the business community could benefit from all the people coming in for the All-Star Game."
Raytown is embracing its love of baseball and businesses all along 350 Highway will soon be showcasing that love with signs and banners welcoming baseball fans. Visitors will even get a visit from the welcome wagon when they check into one of dozens of hotel rooms in the Raytown area.
"We will be putting together bags with a welcome letter, coupons, flyers, different things in regards to what's available to them," says Turnbow.
On Saturday July 7th, Raytown is planning a free movie night at Coleman Park, showing the movie "The Sandlot." There's also a Homerun Derby before the movie, and buck night concessions.