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12/01/11 5:05 PM EST

Orioles to hold annual FanFest in January

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles' annual FanFest -- the unofficial start to the 2012 baseball season -- will be held Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Baltimore Convention Center.

This year's FanFest, presented by the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau, will feature appearances by current and former Orioles players and coaches as part of a day-long celebration of baseball that will also include clinics, exhibits and interactive games. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, with early entry for Orioles season-plan holders to begin at 10 a.m. as part of the Orange Carpet Program.

In addition to FanFest activities, individual game tickets for the 2012 season will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Jan. 21. Fans may purchase tickets online at orioles.com, via phone at 1-888-848-BIRD and at the official team store at the York Galleria in York, Pa. Tickets will also be available at the Convention Center or the Orioles' box office at the north end of the warehouse throughout the day.

The Orioles' autograph policy for FanFest 2012 will duplicate last year's policy and is designed to support youth charitable endeavors through OriolesREACH, as well as reduce fan disappointment by shortening wait times. Children ages 4-14 will have a specially designated Kids Only player autograph station presented by ESSKAY that is free of charge and will operate continuously throughout the day. All other ESSKAY autograph stations at FanFest will require the advance purchase of autograph vouchers exclusively at orioles.com, with all of the proceeds to benefit children's charities through OriolesREACH. Additional details pertaining to the sale of vouchers for autograph stations will be announced at a later date.

In addition to autographs, other FanFest activities include question-and-answer forums with players, front-office staff and media; clinics for children on a youth-sized baseball field; memorabilia dealers; a Spring Training in Sarasota, Fla., exhibit; and the opportunity to apply for seasonal employment with the organization.

Tickets for FanFest are on sale now and are available online at orioles.com/fanfest, via phone at 1-888-848-BIRD and at the official team store at the York Galleria in York, Pa. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 14 and under and those over 55. Tickets can be purchased on the day of the event at the Convention Center and the Orioles' box office. Season-plan holders for 2012 will receive complimentary tickets as part of their Orange Carpet Benefits program.

Complimentary parking for FanFest is available in Camden Yards Lot B/C. For updated information about the event, fans should visit orioles.com/fanfest.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.