Tomorrow is Labour Thanksgiving Day in Japan, and with many people getting the day off the Swallows will be holding their annual Fan Appreciation Day at Jingu. The annual event gives the team a chance to shill its sponsors, look back on the previous season, and give players a chance to be a bit goofy. This year’s Fan Appreciation Day looks to be no different. Among the events lined up for tomorrow are;
- Public unveiling and first sale of the Swallows’ “new” uniforms;
- Kick off of the new Swallows’ fan club, Swallows Crew;
- Various talk shows on the main stage with players grouped according to their year of birth. Players born in ’90, ’87, and’84 will each spend 30 minutes on the main stage;
- Various sponsor booths set up in and around the stadium.
All of the above will occur between 10:00 and 13:15 while the Jingu field will be opened up for the public. The second half of the day will be a more structured show with the fans in the stands. During the second half, fans will be able to see;
- Dance performances by Passion and Sparkles;
- Milestone ceremonies for Fukuchi (1000 games) and Tateyama (September MVP);
- A tuna dissection demonstration. (WTF?);
- Silly games in which I’m willing to bet that some players will get dressed up. (For those keeping score at home, I believe Yoshinori has dressed as a girl three years running.);
- Presentation of the 10 most memorable 2012 games as voted by the fan;
- and the formal retirement ceremonies for Kazuki Fukuchi and Ryuji Miyade.
There will be plenty of things to explore and drop cash if one was so inclined, but if the weather is nice it can be a fun day out even without spending a yen.
Speaking of the weather, most of the events will be cancelled in the event of rain. The team will make a decision by 7:00 as to whether to proceed with the full schedule. While the team says it has never cancelled fan day in its 30 year history, the weather forecast for tomorrow indeed calls for rain. Even if the main events are cancelled, the team will still be selling fan club memberships, new uniforms, 2013 team calendars, and general team merch.
For those of you living in NOT Tokyo and have too much time on your hands can follow the festivities on the Swallows’ livestream which is set to be hosted on YouTube live. Follow the team’s official YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/swallows) for more details.
Hope to see some of you out and about tomorrow! Look for the TS cap!