The San Diego Padres have announced their annual Fan Fest!
This year it will fall on Saturday, April 1st, at the beautiful Petco Park. Admission is FREE, but those who are planning to show up must pre-register (here) for your free tickets. Fans registering can get up to eight tickets.
Gates for the Fan Fest will open up at 10:00 am for regular fans as you will be able to enter through the East Village, Gaslamp, and Home Plate gates. If you have a Padres Membership, however, you get access to everything as early as 9:00 am. Parking will also be free, as long as the lot is owned by the Padres. If this fan fest has an attendance count anywhere close to the Celebrate San Diego event, then you can expect spots to fill up fast, so come early to get a good spot.
One of the more popular features of Fan Fest, the Garage Sale, will be returning this year. Make your way over to the Park Blvd gate where you can have an opportunity to purchase things like game worn jerseys and helmets, 2016 All-Star memorabilia, and much more. The cool thing about the Garage Sale is that the profit made from these sites will go to the Padres Foundation, so not only are you getting some fresh and rare Padres gear, but you’re helping out a good cause. There will also be a Padres Foundation Prize wheel where a “suggested $5 donation” to the foundation will get you a spin on the wheel that will also give you some fresh Padre gear.
Players, coaches, and broadcasters will be signing autographs in different spots around the stadium between 10:00 and 2:00 pm. The Padres would like to mention that autographs are on a “first come, first serve” basis, and that no signings are guaranteed. So get in early if you really want your favorite player or coach’s signature. Coaches, players, and broadcasters will also be on the Park at the Park stage for Q&A forums beginning at 11:00 am.
Fans will also get a chance to fill the outfield seats as players will begin batting practice at around 1:00 pm. There will be a number of “specially marked balls” that will be thrown into the mix of batting practice. Catching one of these balls will give you an opportunity to win special prizes.
For the kids, there will be a Kids Fest at the Park in the Park that will include bounce houses, games, obstacle courses, and face paintings. There will also be a special clinic with an unnamed Padre at the whiffle ball field in the Park at the Park. Additionally, once batting practice is wrapped up, kids will get a chance to go on the field and round the bases!
Another thing that will be returning to Padres Fan Fest is the “For those Who Serve” Military and First Responders zone located at the Park in the Park.
For those of you who don’t like reading, here is a time stamp of what it in store for April 1 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm:
Padres Membership members get first access to the Fan Fest festivities
Gates open for general public
Players, Coaches, Broadcasters will start to be around the park to sign autographs on a first come first serve basis
Some players, coaches, and broadcasters will be on the Park at the Park stage for a Q&A forum
Fans will be able to fill the outfield seats for an exclusive look at Padres batting practice
All those signing autographs will begin to sign the last few autographs on the table
Batting practice will end, kids will be allowed onto the field to run the bases
Last calls for the entire park as the Fan Fest will begin closing.
So come gather down at Petco Park and begin the epic rally for what will be the biggest game in town. The San Diego Padres need us just as much as we need them! So pack some sunscreen, pile the kids in the car, get your glove, and get down to Petco to start the 2017 season out on a high note. I hope to see you all there!
Derek is a 22-year-old out of Lemon Grove, California. A burning passion for San Diego sports led him to pursue an opportunity to write and share about what’s going on with the teams in America’s Finest City. A young and aspiring sports journalist looking to grow his knowledge and expand his experience at any opportunity.