PHOTOS: Nationals Winterfest returns to the ballpark this weekend

Winterfest runs from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at Nationals Park, rain or shine. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Winterfest runs from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at Nationals Park, rain or shine. (WTOP/Mike Murillo) (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Curling is on the list at Winterfest. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Curling is on the list at Winterfest. (WTOP/Mike Murillo) (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Other activities include racing the Racing Presidents and snow fort building. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Other activities include racing the Racing Presidents and snow fort building. (WTOP/Mike Murillo) (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Participants get a chance to meet and join in activities with Nats players and manager Dave Martinez. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Participants get a chance to meet and join in activities with Nats players and manager Dave Martinez. (WTOP/Mike Murillo) (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Nationals gear with the 2019 logo will also be available for the first time at Winterfest. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Nationals gear with the 2019 logo will also be available for the first time at Winterfest. (WTOP/Mike Murillo) (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Kids can get baseball tips from the pros. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Kids can get baseball tips from the pros. (WTOP/Mike Murillo) (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
The team brought the event home to Nats Park after a couple years of hosting it at the convention center. 

"This is home for our fans; this is home for our players," said Mike Shane with the Nationals. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
The team brought the event home to Nats Park after a couple of years hosting it at the convention center. “This is home for our fans; this is home for our players,” said Mike Shane with the Nationals. (WTOP/Mike Murillo) (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
At Winterfest, you'll be able to hit a few balls in the space where players warm up. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
At Winterfest, you’ll be able to hit a few balls in the space where players warm up. (WTOP/Mike Murillo) (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Preparation are underway at Nationals Park for the 2018 Winterfest. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Preparation are underway at Nationals Park for the 2018 Winterfest. (WTOP/Mike Murillo) (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Preparation are underway at Nationals Park for the 2018 Winterfest. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Preparation are underway at Nationals Park for the 2018 Winterfest. (WTOP/Mike Murillo) (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Preparation are underway at Nationals Park for the 2018 Winterfest. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Preparation are underway at Nationals Park for the 2018 Winterfest. (WTOP/Mike Murillo) (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
(1/11)
Winterfest runs from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at Nationals Park, rain or shine. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Curling is on the list at Winterfest. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Other activities include racing the Racing Presidents and snow fort building. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Participants get a chance to meet and join in activities with Nats players and manager Dave Martinez. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Nationals gear with the 2019 logo will also be available for the first time at Winterfest. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Kids can get baseball tips from the pros. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
The team brought the event home to Nats Park after a couple years of hosting it at the convention center. 

"This is home for our fans; this is home for our players," said Mike Shane with the Nationals. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
At Winterfest, you'll be able to hit a few balls in the space where players warm up. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Preparation are underway at Nationals Park for the 2018 Winterfest. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Preparation are underway at Nationals Park for the 2018 Winterfest. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
Preparation are underway at Nationals Park for the 2018 Winterfest. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

WASHINGTON — Whether it’s to challenge a Racing President or to take a few swings in the batting cages where the players warm up, Washington Nationals fans have a lot to do this weekend.

Nationals Winterfest takes over Nationals Park for the first time since 2011. The event, which is a wintertime tradition in D.C., spent the last six years at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center before being moved back to the ballpark this year.

“It seemed like the right time to bring it back to the ballpark,” said Mike Shane with the Nationals. “This is home for our fans; this is home for our players.”

Shane said bringing it home will allow the team to give fans access to areas that are off limits to everyone except players and staff during the season. Fans will be allowed to go onto the field, throw in the bullpen and even hit in the players’ batting cages.

And, besides handing out autographs and posing for pictures, Shane said players will also be taking part in the many activities.

“They’re going to be playing with the families and the kids who are out here,” Shane said.

For fans looking to see how they would stack up against George, Tom, Abe and Teddy, they’ll get a chance to race the Racing Presidents. New to the event this year, fans will also be able to try their hands at curling. And, there will be clubhouse tours during the two-day event.

Also attending are the team’s general manager, Mike Rizzo, and manager Dave Martinez.

“It’s very exciting, especially for me, you get to see some of the older fans and meet some of the younger, new fans,” Martinez said.

Ballpark fare fans expect will be offered, but Shane said some holiday favorites will also be served.

“We’re going to have the giant turkey leg, we’re going to have what they are calling the ‘Thanksgiving leftover sandwich,’ which is the turkey, and the stuffing, and the cranberry, all on a homemade roll,” Shane said.

There will also be traditional hot chocolate and a special adult hot chocolate for grown-ups.

Also available for the first time is apparel with the team logo for the 2019 season that includes a throwback “W” with the U.S. Capitol as its backdrop.

Shane said the event will go on rain or shine, but for fans who already purchased tickets for Saturday and don’t want to brave the rain in the forecast, those tickets will be honored on Sunday.

The event takes place Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are available on the Nats’ website.


Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2018 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up