Tuesday, December 16, 2008

NatsFest & Winter Caravan--2009

UPDATE: It's been brought to my attention that the 2nd NatsFest on April 4th at Nationals Park before Washington takes on Baltimore in an exhibition game will be for "FULL SEASON" Ticket Holders only. More details on that event will be released later.

FanFest, NatsFest, whatever you want to call it--Our Washington Nationals made the announcement today so many of their fans had asked for over the past four seasons. An off-season get together with Our Players, Our Coaches and Our Management, to not only meet and greet, but have face-to-face discussions about DC Baseball.

The Date: Sunday, January 25th. The Time: 1:00PM--5:00PM. The Place: Nationals Park. (Dress Warmly?)

EXACTLY what every fan has desired for the off-season.

For 2009, The Inaugural NATSFEST is a one day event--BUT IT IS FREE for Season Ticket Holders. Non-Season Ticket Holders and any other fan wishing, can attend for an admission charge of $10 for Adults and $5 for Children under 12 Years of Age.

This is just the start. Hopefully, NATSFEST will evolve into THE OFF-SEASON EVENT for Our Washington Nationals every winter with a Major Hotel/Convention Center onboard as the central locale. Together, providing a weekend's worth of activities, games and instruction. These types of events are extremely popular with the fans bases of many, many other Major League Teams.

Additionally, Our Washington Nationals announced an EXPANDED Winter Caravan for 2009. The Touring Show of a handful of players/coaches and management officials that has been in effect each of the past three off-seasons during the last week of January. During The Winter Caravan, the show stops for autographs at selected business', schools or charitable foundations. Interestingly, in an obvious effort to expand the fan base, Martinsburg, West Virginia is a scheduled stop for 2009, as well as, Annapolis--The Capital of The State of Maryland.

Look out Baltimore.

Also, realizing they have fans south of DC, Our Washington Nationals will be returning to The Capital of The Commonwealth of Virginia on Saturday, January 24th. Richmond was a Winter Caravan stop in 2007 and will be so again for 2009. Too bad The Winter Caravan's not hitting Charleston, West Virginia--to add a 3rd State Capital. And while we are at it--why not The Pennsylvania Capital--Harrisburg--it is The Home of Our Washington Nationals AA Affiliate--The Senators? You might as well go for Market Share while you can? Right?

The ESPN Zone will host a Celebrity Cook-Off on Friday, January 23rd. In 2007, Ryan Zimmerman, Nook Logan and Mike O'Connor all participated. Nook was crowned The Champion by a select group of local journalists and food experts.

Finally, The 2009 Winter Caravan will conclude with a visit to The Amidon-Bowen School in SW and a visit to The Nationals Children's Medical Center--where The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation already has a presence.

Nationals Season Ticket Holders should expect to receive an email concerning their free tickets to NatsFest beginning Wednesday, December 17th. Player and Coach Participation, as well as all the activities planned will be released sometime during the week of January 12th.

PS--There is actually a 2nd NatFest planned for 2009. On April 4th, when Our Washington Nationals take on The Baltimore Orioles in their only exhibition game at Nationals Park, A NatsFest will be held that day for all Full Time Season Ticket Holders before the 6PM Start Time--more details to be announced at a later date.

Here is The Complete Press Release from Our Washington Nationals:


The Washington Nationals today announced the schedule for their 2009 Winter Caravan, as the team will make several stops throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area, including visits to Annapolis, MD, Martinsburg, WV, and Richmond, VA. The Winter Caravan will take place Thursday, January 22 through Monday, January 26 and include NatsFest, the first-ever FanFest at Nationals Park, on Sunday, January 25.

The Caravan is an opportunity for the Nationals team members to connect with their fans and the community in the region before they head to Viera, FL for the start of the Spring Training season in mid-February. Nationals players, coaches, front office executives and broadcasters will take part in appearances throughout the city and surrounding areas during the five-day event. The Caravan will begin with a stop in Martinsburg, WV on Thursday, January 22. Players will compete in a celebrity
cook-off at the ESPN Zone in Washington, DC on Friday, January 23. The team will make an appearance in Richmond, VA on Saturday, January 24 and return to the District for Sunday’s NatsFest. The Caravan will conclude on Monday, January 26 with visits to Amidon-Bowen Elementary School in Southwest Washington and Children’s National Medical Center.

NatsFest, which will be open to the public, will take place on Sunday, January 25 from 1:00pm – 5:00pm. Fans will have the opportunity to interact with Nationals players through autograph, photograph and question-and-answer sessions. Nationals executives will also take part in a Q&A with fans. All Nationals Season Ticket Holders are eligible for four complimentary tickets per account. Information on how to receive these tickets will be sent to Season Ticket Holders via an e-mail on Wednesday, December 17. All Nationals fans may purchase tickets beginning Wednesday, December 17 at 10:00am, online at www.nationals.com/natsfest, by calling 1-888-632-NATS (6287) or at the Nationals Park Main Box Office (Monday through Friday, 10:00am-5:00pm). The cost of the event is $10 for adults and $5 for children under the age of 12. The Nationals Park Box Office will be closed from Tuesday, December 23 through Sunday, January 4 while the Nationals Executive Offices are closed for the holidays.

Additional information on the Winter Caravan and NatsFest, including player participation and a full list of Caravan stops, will be released the week of January 12th.


Chris Needham said...

Ol' Bessy's three fields over, but at least we've finally closed that barn door.

Anonymous said...

I'm very happy to see that a real fan fest is finally happening.

VCUAlum Kyle said...

To all Nats Fans:

I have been writting alot of negative press on this blog the past year of 2008.

After yesterday's announcement about Nats Caravan and Fest I must say THANK YOU WASHINGTON NATIONALS!!!!

Not only will I be at the Richmond, VA Nats Caravan stop, I also used my last freebe of 4 free tix and i will attend the Fest on Sunday the 25th!!!! I am even giving two of my tix for the fest to two of my very close realitives as xmas gifts!!!!

I am so happy with the news that I hope I will continue to write positve info for now and all through 2009!!!!

Nats ownership, you got one right and you have one very very happy fan right now!!!!

SenatorNat said...

Teixiera shall win cook-off with his Tex-Nats chili, which is very new and extremely rich!

Trust in "10 Years for a Teixiera." All astounding!

Anonymous said...

Any word on which players are going to be at each event?

Screech's Best Friend said...

Tom: No official word on who might participate until the week of January 12th.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to be negative, but three questions:

1) Will anybody besides the very few die-hards show up? Or even care?

2) Could they have maybe done this at an indoor facility? I mean, maybe they'll have the whole thing inside the club level, which would be interesting, but i for one have no interest in hiking around a stadium which at that point in the month will be a frozen tundra.

3) Will any players that fans actually want to meet (such as Zimmerman, NJ or Scott Olsen) show up? Or will it be, and let's be honest here, the usual collection of D-list Nats that you see at events? If that's the case, i'll be there, if not, i'll stay away.

Kudos to the team though for scheduling this event on the off-Sunday between the end of the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl. Glad they were aware of that!


Anonymous said...

1. Yes, people will show up.

2. Yes, it will be indoors.

3. "Usual D-list"? Ryan Zimmerman often attends the winter events, as does Manny Acta. Usually the problem is finding players who are in the DC area in January -- but I'm hopeful that the NatsFest means they will require most players to attend. I know what you mean -- I wouldn't really want to show up if it's a couple of scrub relievers and a backup infielder, but if they're actually having a fan fest, I think they will produce. Then again, it's the Nats, so you never know.

I'll be there either way.