With the Fourth of July festivities in the rear-view mirror, South Floridians can focus their attention on the next big event set to roll into Miami this Thursday: the 88th MLB All-Star Game. But the word “game” is a bit misleading. The showdown between the American League and the National League is just the cherry on top of the massive ice-cream sundae of events that come with baseball’s midseason classic.
Throughout the next few days, a plethora of MLB All-Star events will take place all over Miami-Dade County. Here are a few you shouldn’t miss:
1. “Play Ball Park” at Bayfront Park
Thanks to Major League Baseball, a cool and absolutely free All-Star Week attraction will be located at Bayfront Park. Thursday, July 6, through Tuesday, July 11, children and their parents are invited to come out and enjoy a youth-size turf diamond offering daily scheduled programming, including open play, as well as batting tunnels, pitching inflatables, MLB sponsor activation zones, and the new Stickball Alley.
Throughout the weekend, special appearances by some celebrity guests are planned, including softball legend Jennie Finch, members of the USA baseball and softball teams, and SiriusXM All-Star Futures players. Kids aged 4 to 17 are welcome at the attraction.
2. MLB All-Star FanFest
FanFest takes place July 7 through 11 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Each day, a separate ticket gets you an all-access pass to the day’s All-Star Week events. FanFest includes meet-and-greets with current and past MLB legends, free autographs, daily giveaways, opportunities to take part in baseball training drills, an area where fans can view memorabilia and artifacts from Marlins history, and photo ops with the official awards and trophies of the World Series, Home Run Derby, and All-Star Game MVP. The world’s largest baseball will also be on display for fans to ogle.
3. MLB All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game
The Legends & Celebrity Softball Game will take place at Marlins Park following the T-Mobile Home Run Derby Monday, July 10. Participants with local ties include Dascha Polanco, Jencarlos Canela, William Levy, Iván “Pudge” Rodríguez, Andre Dawson, Al Leiter, and Benito Santiago. Miles Teller, Justin Hartley, Christopher Jackson, and Michael Cudiltz are also scheduled to participate. Miami-Dade native Flo Rida will perform on the field between the Futures Game and the Legends & Celebrity Game. Tickets to the event are still available.
4. The Electric Run MLB All-Star 5K
This is definitely something different. This Saturday, July 8, when the sun goes down, the Electric Run will begin. The 5K event through Bayfront Park, described by MLB as “an electric party full of lights, music, and surprises,” will take participants through five electric-lighted “worlds” while a concert featuring Lil Jon takes place. Remember Lil Jon? Yeeeeah? OK!
The start-line window for runners will open at 8 p.m., and waves of subsequent runners will be released every few minutes until about 9 p.m.
5. MLB All-Star Zumba
Sunday, July 9, Zumba creator Beto Perez will bring his fitness party to Bayfront Park with a special MLB All-Star Zumba event. The party will kick off at 9:30 a.m. with a 90-minute session that will wrap around 11 a.m. Latin Grammy-winning reggaeton singer Don Omar will provide the music to which guests will Zumba. If you’re going as part of the FanFest package, you’ll pay one price. If you want to participate only in the Zumba, you’ll need to register and pay separately.
6. T-Mobile Home Run Derby
For Miami, this is the highlight of All-Star Week. Giancarlo Stanton is back to defend his dropping-bombs-on-your-moms home-run title, and he has some stiff competition. Last year, Stanton launched home runs that totaled a distance that stretched nearly 15 miles. You might not want to park your car on the side of the stadium where the outfield sits.
Also competing will be Stanton’s teammate Justin Bour and the mountain-of-a-man New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge. The derby will take place at Marlins Park July 10 at 8 p.m. All of the action will also be broadcast on ESPN.
7. 2017 MLB All-Star Game
Tuesday, July 11, at Marlins Park, the 88th MLB All-Star Game will close out the week’s fun. Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton will appear in the game, with Ozuna starting thanks to a fan vote and Stanton scheduled to appear as a reserve. If you’re going, congrats on scoring one of the hottest tickets Miami has seen in some time. If you’re not, the coverage starts at 7:30 p.m. on Fox.