PITTSBURGH -- Strategically planning it between the AFC Championship game and the Super Bowl, the Pirates will be hosting PirateFest this weekend for all those Pittsburgh sports fans looking for a way to keep busy before the big game on Feb. 1.
The three-day annual baseball carnival will kick off on Friday from 5-9 p.m. ET at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center downtown. The event will also be open from noon-8 p.m. on Saturday and then again on Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Pirates' season-ticket holders will be able to enter one hour earlier on Friday and Sunday.
More than a dozen current and former Pirates players will be on hand to sign autographs, which are free once inside the Convention Center. A list of which players will be signing and when can be found under the community link on pirates.com.
In addition to various games, activities, auctions and youth clinics, three different interactive Q&A sessions will be held.
The "Ask Pirates Management" sessions, which will include general manager Neal Huntington, manager John Russell and president Frank Coonelly, will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday and again at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Fans can then ask questions of players and coaches in a session scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Fans attending PirateFest will get the opportunity to purchase individual game tickets for 2009 before tickets go on sale to the general public.
Also, in an effort to further the organization's efforts in the community, anyone who brings a non-perishable food item to PirateFest will receive a free Pirates poster featuring player photos and a 2009 season schedule.
Tickets for the event are $10 for adults. Up to four children ages 14 and under can get in for free with the purchase of an adult ticket. Tickets can be bought at the Convention Center or ahead of time on pirates.com or by calling 1-800-Buy-Bucs.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.