03/29/2007 1:46 PM ET
Houston Astros 2007 Opening Day plans announced
Pregame festivities include sixth annual Street Festival, U.S. Army Golden Knights and country music star Clay Walker
Houston Astros Opening Day
The Houston Astros announced today plans for Opening Day 2007 to be held on Monday, April 2, at Minute Maid Park. The Astros begin the 2007 season against the Pittsburgh Pirates at 6:05 p.m. on Monday evening, and Astros Opening Day is sold out for the eighth consecutive season.
On April 2, Minute Maid Park gates will open at 3:00 p.m., with pre-game ceremonies beginning at 5:30 p.m. The following is an overview of the day:
Day: Monday, April 2, 2007
Game Time: 6:05 p.m.
Opponent: Pittsburgh Pirates
Location: Minute Maid Park
Tickets: SOLD OUT
11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Opening Day Street Festival
12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Pep Rally at Street Festival
12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Opening Day Blood Drive
3:00 p.m. Gates Open to Minute Maid Park
5:30 p.m. Pre-Game Ceremonies Begin
6:05 p.m. Astros vs. Pirates
The Astros Opening Day Ceremonies will feature the presentation of the colors by the Houston Fire Department Honor Guard. The first pitch will celebrate a "Salute to Houston's Good Guys," with the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachuting into Minute Maid Park. Other pre-game activities include a flyover by the 147th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard and a presentation of an oversized American flag held and displayed by members of the 2006 5A State Champion baseball team from The Woodlands High School. In addition, the first 30,000 fans will receive a Rally Towel, courtesy of Gallery Furniture.
THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
The national anthem for Astros Opening Day will be performed by Beaumont, TX native and country music star Clay Walker. Walker first topped the Billboard country singles chart in 1993 with "What's It to You" and followed with his second consecutive No. 1 hit, "Live Until I Die." Since then he's placed 31 titles on Billboard's singles chart in addition to four platinum-selling albums and two gold albums. Walker recently performed at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo on March 3, 2007. His new album, titled "Fall," is scheduled to be released on April 17, 2007. Walker will also sing "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch.
ASTROS OPENING DAY STREET FESTIVAL
Festivities surrounding Astros Opening Day 2007 begin with the Astros Sixth Annual Opening Day Street Festival at Halliburton Plaza adjacent to Union Station on Crawford Street. The Opening Day Street Festival, hosted by Clear Channel, will run from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is free to the public.
One of the highlights of the Opening Day Street Festival will be a lunchtime Astros pep rally from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. with Astros Chairman and CEO Drayton McLane, Hall of Fame Broadcaster Milo Hamilton, Astros Broadcasters Brett Dolan and Dave Raymond, Astros pitchers Woody Williams and Jason Jennings, outfielder Carlos Lee and infielder Mark Loretta. The Astros will be joined by News Radio 740 KTRH's Ted Deluca. The festival will also feature live music by Rapture and The Shillingtons, live broadcasts from 93.7 The Arrow and 94.5 The Buzz, and food, drinks, interactive games, and prizes. Astros mascot Junction Jack will be on hand to entertain the crowd.
All eight of the Houston-area Clear Channel stations will be represented at the Astros Opening Day Street Festival including the Astros flagship station - News Radio 740 KTRH. Also in attendace will be Mega 101 FM Latino and Proud, 94.5 The Buzz Houston's New Rock, Classic Rock 93.7 The Arrow, The New Mix 96.5, Sunny 99.1, Talk Radio 950 KPRC, and KBME The Sports Animal.
The Astros Opening Day Street Festival is also sponsored by the following Clear Channel partners: Broadview Wireless, Bubbles, Double Dave's, FunJet, Home Loan Store, Hygea Laser Therapy, Infinity Insurance, James Coney Island, Kolache Factory, McDonalds, Meals on Wheels, Nestle Tollhouse Café, People's Trust Federal Credit Union, Picazo Restaurant Bar & Grill, Tara Energy, TX Dot, Washington Mutual and Wings N' More.
OPENING DAY BLOOD DRIVE
The Astros in Action Foundation, in conjunction with Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center and ARAMARK, is hosting the annual Opening Day Blood Drive at Minute Maid Park. The blood drive will run from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Union Station Conference Center on the third floor of Union Station. The blood drive is open to all fans, and attendance at the Opening Day game is not required to participate. Donors will receive an Astros t-shirt and a ticket coupon good for up to eight half-price tickets in selected sections for the Astros versus Florida Marlins series (April 16-17, 2007).
The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center provides blood and blood components to patients in over 220 healthcare institutions in a 25-county service area. Donors must be at least 17 years of age, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, and be in good general health. The donation process takes less than an hour, and one donation can save as many as three lives.
For more information about the Astros Blood Drives, Neighborhood Donor Centers, or the blood donation process call Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center at (713) 790-1200 or 1 (888) GV-BLOOD (482-5663) or logon to http://www.giveblood.org.
ENTERING MINUTE MAID PARK
The Astros encourage fans to arrive early for Opening Day 2007 and be prepared to open bags for security inspection upon entry into the ballpark. Bags larger than 16"x16"x8" are prohibited. Fans will be required to return such items to their vehicle. Coolers are prohibited, and food and beverages may not be brought into the ballpark.