Rays to hold annual Fan Fest on Feb. 19

Rays to hold annual Fan Fest on Feb. 19

Rays to hold annual Fan Fest on Feb. 19
ST. PETERSBURG -- The 2011 Rays Fan Fest presented by MetroPCS is scheduled for Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field.

Admission and parking are free for the event. A donation to the Rays Baseball Foundation will allow fans the opportunity to get autographs from players and coaches. Autographs for season-ticket holders and kids 14 and under are free.

In addition to players, Rays television and radio broadcasters and more than two dozen former Major League players will also be signing autographs for free throughout the day.

New to the 2011 Fan Fest is a Rays Yard Sale that will give fans the opportunity to purchase unique game-used and autographed memorabilia dating back to the inaugural season. All proceeds benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation. The event will also include a designated area for "Reading with the Rays," the club's summer reading program, that will feature players reading selected stories to children throughout the day.

Fan Fest will again feature numerous interactive activities for children and families. At the TV32 Kids Interactive Zone, fans can swing away in a big league batting cage, try out their fastball in the speed pitch booth, hit a home run in the Wiffle Ball Home Run Derby and show off their speed at the Steal Home Challenge.

Kids will be able to run the bases and get high fives from players as they cross home plate at the new Sweetbay High Five Station. Kids can tour the clubhouse and ask questions to players at a kids-only news conference.

Panel discussions led by Rays broadcasters and special guests will take place throughout the day. National anthem auditions will also take place so fans can try out to sing before a game at Tropicana Field this season.

Fans are encouraged to stop by the MetroPCS Call-A-Friend Stage to have the opportunity for a Rays player to call a friend or family member and receive the most up-to-date information on MetroPCS products.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.