Fans won’t have to brave the cold for Natsfest 2011

Of all the changes the Washington Nationals are making for the 2011 season, one that die-hard fans will most immediately appreciate is Friday’s announcement that the annual NatsFest is moving to March. If you haven’t attended this fun event in the past, you can no longer use snow as an excuse. Unfortunately, you’ll now have to take a day off from work.

After another January event last year that forced fans to wait outside in snow and single digit temperatures, the team decided to move the event from a pre-spring training timeframe to March 30, just before the first game of the season. However, the event, which has always been held on a weekend, will now be on a Wednesday, forcing fans to take a day away from school or work to attend.

For a team that hasn’t nailed down its starting lineup, the March date affords the Nationals the ability to deliver on their promise of having fans interact with the current roster of players. The team promised to “engage our fans like never before.” Presumably, the spring date will allow activities to spread into the outdoors, making crowd circulation much easier.

Tickets for Natsfest remain free for season ticket holders, and additional tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids under the age of 12.

Presidents Race auditions announced for 2011 season

Washington Nationals Presidents Race AuditionsThe Washington Nationals presidents race audition details have been announced for 2011.

In what has become an annual tradition, the Nats will be holding auditions on Presidents Day weekend for candidates who want to compete as racing presidents George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy at Nationals Park.

The tryouts will be held on Saturday, February 19th. In previous years, candidates have been asked to run a 40-yard dash, race on the field, dance, and show their celebration skills during the tryouts, which are held rain or shine. Last year, the auditions went forward in deep fresh snow, which made for a cold but hilarious afternoon.

Candidates must also:
• Be between 5’7″ and 6’6″ in height
• Be able to run approximately 200 yards in 40 seconds
• Be able to wear a costume weighing about 45 lbs for several hours
• Be available for at least 35 Nationals home games

Presidents race auditions are closed to the public. If you’d like to score an invitation, e-mail a cover letter, resume and recent photo to entertainment@nationals.com and include “2011 Racing Presidents” in the subject line. The team typically invites 50 to 60 finalists to the auditions.

Video from last year’s tryouts:

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