It's All-Star Game Day San Diego

Follow players to Petco Park and 87th All-Star Game

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Tuesday is the day Padres fans have been awaiting for years.

The 87th All-Star Game is here. The game itself will start after ceremonies begin at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Petco Park.

But there is much more to Game Day than the Midsummer Classic itself.

Again, downtown San Diego will be alive throughout the game, and well after it in the Gaslamp Quarter -- as was the case Monday night following the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, which was dominated by Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton.

Stanton sets HR Derby record

One of the key events of the All-Star Game has become the All-Star Red Carpet Parade presented by Chevrolet. The San Diego edition starts at noon Tuesday and will take the players from the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel to Petco Park.

Here's the 14-block route, starting with the departure point.

From the Manchester Grand Hyatt, the parade will travel two blocks on Market Street before turning right on Union. After one block on Union, the parade will turn left on Island for six blocks. From there, it will turn right onto Fifth Avenue for two blocks, before turning left on K Street for the final approach into Petco Park.

American League players will start arriving at Petco Park at 12:20 p.m. with the first of wave of National League players arriving 20 minutes later.

Gates at Petco Park will open to the ticket-holding public at 1:30 p.m. The AL will take batting practice from 1:30 p.m. to 2:25. Team photos for both teams will follow with the NL taking batting practice from 2:55 p.m. to 3:50.

Those events will be followed by the 87th All-Star Game.

But, again, there is more happening around the All-Star Game.

FanFest will be open for its final day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Convention Center, while the All-Star Youth Classic and the MLB All-Star Week Pepsi Block Party continue.

The list of players involved in autograph sessions and photo opportunities today include Padres first baseman Wil Myers, former Padres Ryan Klesko, Gaylord Perry, Rollie Fingers, Terry Kennedy, Kevin Mitchell, Jesse Orosco and original Padres All-Star Chris Cannizzaro, plus former Major Leaguers Tony Oliva and Orlando Cepeda.

FanFest tickets are discounted today at $30 for adults and $25 for senior citizens and kids 2-12.

FanFest features interactive exhibits -- skill areas for running, throwing and hitting -- as well as displays from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and the Negro Leagues Hall of Fame in Kansas City. The history of the San Diego Padres is also chronicled.

The MLB All-Star Week Block Party opens on J Street at noon and runs through 6 p.m.

The final rounds of youth baseball and softball games start at 10:30 a.m. and end at 2 p.m. at Robb Field in Ocean Beach and at Play Ball Park in front of the Hilton Bayfront Hotel. 

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, officials of Major League Baseball and the Padres will dedicate the opening of a new 7,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art career academy at the Monarch School on Newton Avenue. Opened in 1988 as a one-room education center, the Monarch School has grown into a K-12 school serving 450 San Diego students annually affected by homelessness.