KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – America’s favorite pastime is back in Lenoir County.

The City of Kinston is preparing for the home opener for the Down East Wood Ducks, which takes place Thursday. The community and Grainger Stadium officials are eager for people to be back in the stands for another year of baseball.

“A lot of people come from all over to see the Wood Ducks’ games, just to see baseball,” said Kinston Mayor Don Hardy. “It draws folks from all over, so not just Kinston and Lenoir County, but for our neighboring communities.”

Grainger Stadium can hold up to 3,400 people, and fans were still able to grab some last-minute tickets.

“We’ve sold roughly 1,200 tickets so far, you can definitely still get tickets,” said Maddy Meegan, marketing manager for the Down East Wood Ducks.

Baseball fans can get those online or at the ticket booth right before the game. There’s also plenty of parking available at the stadium.

“You don’t pay for parking. You don’t need any parking passes or anything like that. It’s just first come first serve,” said Meehan. “I always recommend not facing your windshield towards the stadium because we do have foul balls that do tend to go out there.”

Gates open at 6 p.m. with pregame festivities starting at around 6:40 p.m. You won’t want to miss that first pitch or any of the fun after. WNCT will also be there Thursday, broadcasting its 5, 530 and 6 p.m. newscasts.

The first pitch will be thrown at 7 p.m. on Thursday night.

“We actually have a golf pro coming and throwing the first pitch,” said Meehan. “We have some little leaguers running out on the field with our players. We have a national anthem singer, we are doing post-game fireworks.”

Hardy plans to be at the game and encourages people to grab a bite to eat while rooting for the Wood Ducks.

“I look forward to seeing you, I may be eating, you know some of that food as well. The fries, you know all this stuff is really really good for you,” said Hardy.