Football season is over. That can only mean one thing: Baseball season is right around the corner. And the first real event of any Padres season is FanFest (formerly known as FriarFest). This year, it’s this Saturday, February 8th, from 10am to 4pm.
Season Ticket “Members” get in early at 8:30am, with Early Access starting at 9:30am for the general public available by registering here.
So, what can we look forward to this year? Details are still sketchy. The full event schedule is usually not announced until a day or two before. The full promotional schedule for the 2014 season is supposed to be announced sometime later this week and there may or may not be examples of the giveaways at FanFest.
Here’s what we do know:
Social Media Lounge
Social media headquarters for FanFest will be located at Club 336 in left field. Stop by throughout the day to get involved in the #Padres social conversation! Make sure to follow @Padres for surprise appearances and latest updates.
I don’t know where Club 336 is. There’s no section 336 on the ticketing map. Hopefully, they’ll have signs and someone is going to be there to greet fans and answer questions. Otherwise, this photo from the 2012 FanFest says it all:
KidsFest is back for 2014! Experience the fun-filled kid’s zone at the Park at the Park that’s available free with a game ticket every Sunday during the regular season.
This is new for FanFest. Avenging Jack Murphy‘s kids are probably going to want to hang out there all day.
Padres Store Sale
Get your wardrobe ready for the 2014 season with the latest and greatest Padres gear! Stop by the Padres Store located by Palm Court Plaza.
In other words, the Padres Store is going to be open.
Head to the Q&A stage at the Padres dugout throughout the day for fan forums. Participate in forums that will include ownership, players, broadcasters and a special awards presentation.
First person to ask when and where the dolphin tank is getting installed gets a shout-out on Twitter.
Get ready for the Little League season with hitting and pitching clinics given by Padres players and coaches.
Well, at least we know that Cory Luebke won’t be doing the pitching clinic this year.
Military/First Responders Zone
Meet some of the men and women of the US Armed Forces at this interactive area featuring Marine vehicles and challenge yourself on the pull-up bar.
No word on whether or not a USMC drill instructor or a US Army drill sergeant will shout at you while you’re on the pull-up bar.
Pitch in the Bullpen
You’ll have the opportunity to get ready to close a game just like Huston Street. You might even get a call from Buddy on the bullpen phone calling you into the game!
And, if you’re a lefty, you might get a Spring Training invite!
This is another (sort of) new activity. They used to do it in the visitor’s bullpen when it was in right field foul territory.
Catch Pop Flys in Centerfield
Work on becoming the next Will Venable by catching pop flys in centerfield of Petco Park!
Will Venable? We all know that Alexi Amarista is the centerfielder.
Run the Bases
Touch em all like the players do! Head down to the field and circle the bases like you just hit one out of the park.
No. Do not “touch em all.” You can touch them all, but do not “touch em all.” Otherwise I’m coming down there and throwing you to the “warning path.” Oh, my!
Head inside where Padres players and coaches get game ready! Take a tour inside the clubhouse, weight room and more.
There’s no touching the players’ stuff! Hands off!
Padres players, coaches and alumni will be signing autographs throughout FanFest. Vouchers for each session are distributed at the Home Plate Gate. Autograph sessions will be posted soon.
I used to get excited for these every year. But the distribution of tickets for each session for the last couple of years were laughable at best. And complete s**tshows at worst.
UPDATE: The Padres released the autographs schedule late today.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) February 6, 2014
Padres Foundation Garage Sale
Fans will have the opportunity to purchase rare, one-of-a-kind Padres items, including game-used jerseys and batting helmets, with proceeds going to the Padres Foundation.
Easily my favorite thing at FanFest. You can find all sorts of good stuff here, if you get there early.
Padres Public Meet-Up
That’s right. Once again we’re having a meet-up so you can all greet most of
your heroes us in person. Noon to 1 at Southpaw Social Club, 815 J Street, just outside the North gates of the Park at the Park.
First person to show me a personalized Chris Denorfia autograph with “#Norf” (MUST include the hashtag) inscribed with the signature gets a round of whatever you want to drink on me. Provided that you want to drink a Coke, that is (Offer not valid on Pepsi).