The MLB All-Star Game is coming to Washington, D.C. for the first time since 1969, and along with it comes a weekend full of All-Star festivities.
FanFest is the biggest, most extravagant baseball party of the year.
Sure, at the 2018 All-Star game on Tuesday night you can watch what it might be like if a fantasy team game to life, as the very best players in the league compete against each other. But FanFest takes that excitement a step further by giving fans the opportunity to pretend they’re the All-Stars with over 40 attractions in one place.
All day from Friday, July 13 through Tuesday July 17, fans can participate in challenges such as a batting practice, clinics hosted by pros including Ryan Church, Justin Maxwell and Lisa Fernandez.
One of the most popular attractions is the virtual reality Home Run Derby. The participants with the best scores will be invited to participate in a championship tournament Monday before the real Home Run Derby, and the winner will recieve tickets to the All-Star Game.
If you’re not an athlete and don’t pretend to be, there are countless other ways to enjoy the week’s festivities. There’s plenty of merchandise available for purchase, from standard ASG memorabilia to signed vintage jerseys to original artwork. Fans can enjoy various ballpark fare from teams around the league while relaxing in MLB Network’s Fan Cave-esque lounge. An entire “rookie league” is dedicated to making sure children enjoy the festivities as well with face painting, cornhole, a base-stealing challenge and pint-sized batting practice.
Tuesday night you can watch your favorite players from a distance, but at the FanFest there are countless opportunities to get face time with legends including Juan Marichal and Rollie Fingers. You can bring a jersey, card, or other memorabilia to be autographed, and attend small-group question and answer sessions with the some of the biggest stars of the game
In principle, the All-Star Game is exciting, but the last few years have been underwhelming. The game lacks competitiveness as it has no real implications, and players don't want to risk getting hurt making big plays. Last year, the Home Run Derby was more popular than the game, based on ticket prices. The FanFest offers interactivity, competition and the opportunity for fans to participate in exclusive activities, which the All-Star Game iteslf does not.
If you haven't made plans to stop by FanFest, get your tickets ASAP because every baseball fan should experience the ultimate celebration of America's pastime.
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