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FanFest Saturday at Petco Park kicks off Padres' 50th anniversary season

San Diego Padres

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

The Padres will launch their second half-century on Saturday with the 2019 FanFest at Petco Park.

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

The Padres will launch their second half-century on Saturday with the 2019 FanFest at Petco Park.

FanFest is free to the public, with the event running from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. PT. Fans must get tickets through Padres.com/FanFest. Fans can acquire up to eight complimentary tickets for the event. Tickets are required for entry through the MLB Ballpark app.

Padres season-ticket members will have early FanFest access starting at 9 a.m. through the member entrance at the Home Plate Gate. The Home Plate and East Village Gates will open at 10 a.m. to all fans. Parking is free on a first-come, first-served basis at the Padres-owned, Lexus Premier, Padres Parkade and Tailgate lots. Padres members may acquire a complimentary parking pass in advance through their online My Tickets account.

In addition to the regular FanFest fare, fans will see the unveiling of the Padres' 50th anniversary logo during FanFest. San Diego opened play in the 1969 season as a National League expansion team.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Padres, the visiting clubhouse will feature locker exhibits and appearances by various team alumni.

Padres players, alumni and broadcasters will be available to sign autographs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at three designated locations around Petco Park. Autographs are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are not guaranteed. Fans will also have the opportunity to see players, coaches, alumni and broadcasters on stage from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., including a player Pictionary competition.

Padres FanFest will feature various interactive experiences, including KidsFest activities with bounce houses, games, face painting and access to the Wiffle ball field; the Military and First Responder Zone; the Padres Hall of Fame presented by Sony; the Breitbard Hall of Fame, and the San Diego Section of CIF Baseball and Softball presented by FOX Sports San Diego, located in section 114.

Select concessions will be open on the main concourse along with a Taste of Petco Park sampling during the event.

Fans returning to Padres FanFest in 2019 will have the unique opportunity to participate in various activities on the playing field at Petco Park. Attendees will be able to play catch in right field, catch fly balls in center field, throw three pitches in the visitor's bullpen, have their photo taken at the left-field wall and view the grounds crew's field maintenance equipment.

Other elements of the day will include the Home Run Derby VR Experience presented by HP, the Rocket League gaming area presented by Psyonix and the Sony Experience gaming area located in the Padres '47 Brand Team Store. Select Padres gear will be on sale in that store, as well as at Palm Court Plaza and in various portables around the ballpark.

Returning in 2019 is the fan favorite Padres Foundation garage sale, featuring memorabilia, game-used player jerseys, batting helmets, one-of-a-kind items, collectibles and more. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Padres Foundation's charitable efforts.

Standard Petco Park security and screening procedures will be in place for Padres FanFest. Re-entry to the event is permitted, though fans who exit will be screened upon re-entering the ballpark.

Information about Padres FanFest, including maps, schedules, exclusive giveaways and further details can be found in the MLB Ballpark app. Fans are encouraged to download and familiarize themselves with the app prior to attending the event.

The event will proceed, rain or shine. Visit padres.com/fanfest for updates.

San Diego Padres