WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — We’re six months away from when the Little League World Series takes over the Williamsport area. But fans are already back in town for a special event. It’s a hobby like no other.
“Williamsport is one of the epicenters of pin trading in the whole nation,” Gabe Sinicropi, operating committee/visitors bureau said.
That’s right, pin trading is back. Believe it or not, thousands of people from all over the country are making their way into Williamsport for the Williamsport Winter Classic pin trading event.
“It’s awesome, you know. I see people from New York, New Jersey, Florida’s here, Baltimore. You got companies from Ohio, we’re from California,” Joe Anders of Wilson Trophy Company, said.
Four companies from out of state set up their pin tables for people to come in, trade and buy some of their favorites.
“I like ones that have people on it,” nine-year-old Layla Beam said.
“Oh some people got me into it way back in Florida,” Martin Stewart said.
Stewart flew in from Tampa on Friday. He says he has thousands of pins but coming to the event is more than just trading for him.
“The people. It’s the people. It’s the friends you make and they’re all over the states,” Stewart said.
Tammy Hammer agrees.
“To be honest with you, the friends. To be honest it’s the friends,” she said.
Hammer started this business with her husband who recently passed away. She had a pin made for him in his honor. She says it’s nice to come back into the city where she’s surrounded by a support system.
“It’s great to see everybody when the only time you really see them is during pin-trading,” Hammer said.
It’s a weekend that’s taking many on a trip down memory lane.
“I grew up on pin-trading with my dad and pin-trading allowed me to interact with people, talk to people from different walks of life. It’s just very important for kids today who are attached to the iPad or iPhone so they can get out and interact with those people,” Steven Strauss, Infiniti Pins president, said.
And some little ones are already ahead of the game.
“I like to collect pins and I don’t really have a lot so my sister has a lot and I want to be like her and have a lot too,” Kylie Bungo of Williamsport said.
The Williamsport Winter Classic wraps up Sunday afternoon at 2 at the Liberty Arena.