In many Major League Baseball cities on Opening Day, the fun spreads beyond the ballpark. For many cities and teams, events on Opening Day are longstanding traditions that allow even those without a ticket to get in on the action.
Since we have already covered the best Opening Day games, it only seems fitting to highlight some of the best Opening Day parties. The Opening Day event guide presents some of the more notable gatherings this year, ranging from all-day specials and festivals, to block parties and citywide celebrations. The Cincinnati Reds have their Opening Day parade, and there’s always a festival-like atmosphere around Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, but there are a few other events that are noteworthy in their own right.
Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore Block Parties.
The area around Oriole Park at Camden Yards will be full of energy as the Orioles open up against the Minnesota Twins on April 4. Many of the nearby pubs and restaurants will be hosting specials and events, including Pickle’s and Slider’s, two taverns behind the left field wall that are always abuzz on game days. However, the party spreads beyond the immediate vicinity of the ballpark and into neighborhoods such as Canton, Fells Point, and Federal Hill, where various establishments will offer day-long specials. Brewer’s Cask in Federal Hill will get off to an early start with its 10:00 a.m. Opening Day breakfast.
Cleveland Indians, Right Field District.
Much like in Baltimore, Cleveland has several celebrations right around its ballpark. The Right Field District at Progressive Field will be the epicenter of the action, as it hosts its first block party of 2016. Block parties in the District will feature DJs, live entertainment, and other specials. Monday’s matchup between the Indians and the Boston Red Sox could be a precursor of more fun to come, as the Indians will host block parties before most Friday and Saturday home game this season.
Detroit Tigers, Detroit Home Opener Festival.
Another downtown ballpark, another sprawling Opening Day event. Starting at 9:00 a.m. on April 8, The Madison Avenue Festival Grounds will host the Detroit Home Opener Festival, an event that features food, drinks, and live music under heated tents. A variety of ticket packages are available, including a $25 offer that allows the attendee to participate in a hotdog eating contest. Shuttles are available from a variety of locations around Detroit, allowing for safe transportation for fans heading downtown. First pitch for the home opener at Comerica Park—featuring the Tigers taking on the New York Yankees—is set for 1:05.
Kansas City Royals, Relay the Way.
In a departure from the festival surrounding the ballpark, the Royals will spread their celebration out for 10 miles. Relay the Way is a 10-mile relay throw that starts at Union Station and ends on the mound at Kauffman Stadium, where the ball will be used for the ceremonial first pitch. To pull off the feat, organizers have planned to have roughly 2,500 participants who will make the relay at 20 foot intervals. Fans can reserve a spot in the relay by making a $30 donation to the MLB Urban Youth Academy, a year-round baseball and softball instruction complex that will be located at Parade Park in Kansas City. This will precede the best Opening Day matchup of the season, as the Royals face the New York Mets on Sunday night in a rematch of last year’s World Series.
Houston Astros, Opening Day Street Fest.
When the Astros face the Royals at Minute Maid Park on April 11, their return will be celebrated with the Opening Day Street Fest. While it requires a game day ticket for entry, this event along Crawford Street features a little bit of everything, ranging from live music to Q&A sessions and numerous activities for fans of all ages. The event starts at 2:00 p.m. and concludes at 6:30, giving fans plenty of time to get settled in their seats for the 7:10 first pitch.
St. Louis Cardinals, Opening Day at Ballpark Village.
Opening Day is always a celebration in St. Louis, where the fountains are dyed Cardinal red for the occasion. Ballpark Village will add to the festivities on April 11 with a wide variety of events, starting with an Opening Day breakfast at 8:00 a.m. and concluding with post-game performances that evening. This will give fans plenty to do as they head to downtown St. Louis and watch the Cardinals take on the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05.
San Diego Padres, East Village Block Party.
Downtown San Diego is never a bad place to be on Opening Day, but the festivities around Petco Park add an extra layer of excitement to the experience. Starting at 10:00 a.m., fans can partake in the East Village Block Party, an events for fans of all ages. The festivities, which take place along J Street between 6th and 10th Avenue, feature vendors and run through 6:00. Those who plan to attend both the party and the game on Monday afternoon can purchase a ticket package that, for $250, includes two field level seats for the game between the Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers as well as four block party beverage tickets.