The Texas Rangers Fan Fest and Dr Pepper Awards Show takes place today and Saturday at the Arlington Convention Center. Here's a look at what you need to know if you're planning on heading out to Arlington this afternoon:
* Doors open at 4 p.m. and the Fan Fest is open until 10:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door or you can purchase them here. Admission is $25 for adults and $15 for children 13 and under for a one-day pass and $40 for adults and $25 for children 13 and under for a two-day pass. The ticket office (Southeast Gallary at the Convention Center) will be open two hours prior to the doors opening on each day (the Fan Fest goes from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, FYI).
* The Dr Pepper Awards Show is tonight from 8 to 10 p.m. and any fan with a ticket to Fan Fest today can see the show (there's no extra charge).
* ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM will be out there as well. Galloway & Company will broadcast inside the exhibit hall and ESPNDallas.com live with Joe Trahan and me (popping in and out between interviews) will start at 6 p.m. and go until 9 p.m. So we'll have lots of good Rangers talk and guests for you, so be sure to listen. If you're in Arlington, stop by and say hello too.
* Some of the activities at Fan Fest:
Batting Cage: Life size batting cage with top of the line-pitching machine will pitch safety balls to fans.
Speed Pitch: Fans will get the opportunity to stand on a mound and test their arms.
Home Run Derby Field: Fans can hit one “out of the park”…literally. This mini Rangers Ballpark will provide fun and entertainment for all ages.
Locker Room/American League Trophy display: This great photo opportunity will allow fans to feel they are in the real Rangers clubhouse and have their pictures taken with the 2010 and 2011 American League Trophies.
Ground Ball/Fly Ball catch: Fans will be able to test their skills against a pop-fly or ground ball in this area.
Team Photo Opportunity: Fans will be able to have their picture taken with the 2012 team! Fan Fest will feature a life-size team photo cut out.
Lil Sluggers: This interactive will be for the young Rangers fans (8 and under). It will be decorated with MLB Mascots – kids can step up and hit the whiffle balls off a tee.
Event Stage: The Event Stage will be a highlight of the event. Fans will be treated to Q&A sessions with current and former players as well as special interest topics about the Texas Rangers. The stage will also have a dance contest, giveaways, and much more throughout the weekend!
Steal Home Challenge: Fans can race against the clock from third base to home plate and compare their speed with their favorite Rangers.
Autograph Stages will be located in the main Exhibit Hall. Autographs signings will be posted approximately two hours in advance of each session and will include numerous current and former Rangers.
Photo Stage: Throughout the event, fans will be able to get their photos taken with their favorite Rangers personalities.
* Lewis and Nathan will also participate in a Q&A session.
* Hall of Famers Scheduled in the Fergie Jenkins Foundation Booth: Rollie Fingers, Fergie Jenkins, Gaylord Perry.
* Autograph procedures:
-- Fan Fest autograph schedules will not be announced in advance other than what is listed above.
-- Television monitors located at the information booths in the Grand Hall and near the entrance of the Exhibit Hall and the television screens located near the main stage will post who is signing during each session 1 hour prior to the start of that session.
-- Entrance to the designated line will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Individuals who use wheelchairs must adhere to the same first-come, first-served process as all other fans.
-- When lines are at the designated capacity, an “END OF LINE” sign will be posted and no further guests will be allowed to enter the line.
-- There are six designated autograph sessions throughout the weekend where all fans in attendance 1 hour prior to the start of the autograph session will be eligible to participate. Participants will be selected randomly. More information on players and scheduled times will be available on each day of Fan Fest.
-- One autograph per person is allowed, no exceptions.
-- Players will sign approximately 225 autographs per session. Players will not sign beyond their allotted time.
-- Prior to the 2013 Fan Fest, Fast Passes were sold online at texasrangers.com. Sixty guests will have the opportunity to skip to the front of each autograph session on each day of the event.