MIDLAND, Mich. - The Great Lakes Loons are excited to announce their 2017 promotional schedule.
The season begins on April 6 with the Opening Day Celebration, presented by Maple Hill Nursery. This year's festivities will once again be kicked off by a parade on Main Street beginning at 4:30 p.m. Following the parade, the Loons will play the Lansing Lugnuts at Dow Diamond at 6:05 p.m. The first 1,000 fans to enter Dow Diamond will receive a commemorative 2016 Midwest League Championship banner.
Added in the middle of the schedule this season will be the marquee event of the year, the 2017 Midwest League All-Star Game presented by Go Great Lakes Bay. The festivities will begin on Monday, June 19, at 4 p.m. with a high school all-star game, followed by the Midwest League Home Run Derby. Then on Tuesday, June 20, the premier players in the MWL will take the field at Dow Diamond for the league's mid-summer classic at 7:05 p.m.
"No different than in the previous 10 years, our packed promotional schedule has us extremely excited for the upcoming season," Loons Vice President of Baseball Operations & Gameday Experience Tiffany Wardynski said. "Each year we try to offer more than just a night at a baseball game. We want Loons baseball to be a fun, unique experience that offers tremendous value for our fans."
Returning, but with a twist, for 2017 will be "Fridays at Five" in The Cove. The bar area on the third base side will feature live music and drink specials, including $3 craft beers, every Friday home game in June, July and August. Gates will open at 5 p.m., but a specific theme will take over the ballpark that night, including accompanying music acts.
June 2: 80's Night feat. Jedi Mind Trip
June 9: Polish Heritage Night feat. The Steve Drzewicki Band
June 23: Dueling Pianos Night presented by MidMichigan Health
June 30: 260 Days 'til St. Patty's
July 14: Latino Night with Postgame Salsa Party
July 28: Country Western Night feat. Steve Armstrong and the 25¢ Beer Band
August 25: Cheeseburger in Paradise Night feat. Leaky Tiki's Jimmy Buffet Tribute Band
The Loons will be offering the ever-popular Fireworks Loontaculars once again in 2017. Fans have the chance to enjoy a free fireworks display following the game. There are 13 firework displays scheduled for next season: June 3, June 10, June 20, June 24, July 1, July 3, July 15, July 28, August 5, August 16, August 25, August 26 and September 2.
Wednesdays, excluding May 17, will be Hump Day Happy Hour at the ballpark. Fans ages 21 and up can purchase select domestic drafts for $2 from the time gates open till one hour after first pitch.
One of the most bang-for-your-buck nights you'll find, $1 Family Feast Night presented by Chemical Bank, is back for every Thursday home game. On these 11 dates, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs, 16 oz. Pepsi products, Better Made chips and ice cream sandwiches throughout the game.
Now entering its third season, Kids Eat Free Sundays presented by the Soaring Eagle Water Park and Hotel is back offering all kids ages 5-12 a food voucher good for a free kid's meal during all 10 Sunday home games throughout the season.
Farm Bureau Insurance will present two Pre-Game Youth Baseball Clinics (June 4 and June 11) featuring baseball instruction from Loons players. Each child attending the Sunday clinic will receive a free baseball autographed by Loons players. Farm Bureau also returns as the presenting sponsor of Kids Run the Bases, which will follow every Sunday home game, and Winning Wednesdays on July 12, July 26 and August 23.
School Kids Days presented by Mid-Michigan Health will take over the ballpark on three separate occasions in 2017: May 4, May 17 and May 25. Local schools are encouraged to bring groups of students to the ballpark with first pitch at 10:35 a.m.
Fellowship Nights are set for June 22, July 15, July 27 and August 6 this season. Groups participating have the opportunity to get in to the game early that night for various activities.
Numerous giveaways will be offered to fans during the upcoming season: Commemorative Championship Banner (April 6), 2017 Magnet Schedule (April 6-7), Poster Schedule (April 13-15), Championship Posters (May 16, May 23, May 30), Loons Hat (June 10), Team Photo (July 2), MWL All-Star Photo (August 15), Loons All-Star Photo (August 22), Scarf (September 3), 2018 Magnet Schedule (September 4). In all, 14 different days at Dow Diamond in 2017 will have an item for fans to take home.
Every Tuesday home game will be a Route of Champions Night presented by the Loons flagship radio station ESPN 100.9-FM. Throughout those games different former Loons players and storied sports moments from the region's past will be highlighted.
Many other promotions mark the promo calendar this summer: Baseball BINGO Night (May 24, July 12), PRIDE Night (May 31), Greek Heritage Night (June 1), Bark in the Park (June 12, August 14), Superhero Night (July 1), Team Autograph Day (July 2), Military Appreciation Night (July 3), Christmas in July (July 15), World Record Night (July 26), NASCAR Night (July 27), Star Wars Night (August 5), Lucky Hot Dog Night (August 17), Storybook Princess Night (August 26) and Red, White, and Blue Appreciation Night (September 2) recognizing area first responders.
To go along with the many unique events and promotions happening during the 2017 season, some special guests will be making appearances at the ballpark: PBS Characters (June 25, July 16, August 27) including Buddy the Dinosaur and Sid the Science Kid, the X-Pogo stunt team (June 30 and July 13), Star Wars characters (August 5), Zooperstars (August 24), Birdzerk! (August 25) and Belle, Elsa and Friends (August 26).
A full listing of the 2017 promotional schedule will be available soon on Loons.com by clicking on the tickets and promotions listing. Individual game tickets for the 2017 season go on sale March 1, and can be purchased at Loons.com, in person at the Dow Diamond box office, or by phone at 989-837-BALL.
The 2016 Midwest League Champions and hosts of the 2017 MWL All-Star Game presented by GoGreat.com have been a Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since the team's inception in 2007. For tickets and more information about the Great Lakes Loons, call 989-837-BALL or visit Loons.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.