PRESS RELEASE – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are thrilled to announce their full promotional schedule for the 2016 season. Dazzling fireworks shows, unique bobblehead giveaways, exciting celebrity appearances, and funny entertainment acts fill the schedule all season long.
The Rafters will begin the 2016 season in Green Bay before returning home for their first game at Witter Field. Opening Night is slated for Wednesday, June 1st at 7:05 pm and will feature a 2016 magnet schedule giveaway presented by Nieman’s Service. Gates will open a half hour earlier than usual, at 5:30, for fans to enjoy pre-game festivities that will also include live music, balloon artists, face painting and grand entrance by Rosco P. Rafter. Thursday, June 2nd will feature an appearance by the always-entertaining ZOOperstars!, sponsored by Paper City Savings. On Saturday, June 4th, Sandlot Night will include an appearance by Tommy ‘Repeat’ Timmons, who was played by Shane Obedzinski in the classic baseball movie. Following the game, all fans are invited to stick around for a showing of the movie on an inflatable outdoor movie screen in the outfield.
The 2016 season will feature three bobblehead giveaway nights. Skyward Educators Appreciation Night on Tuesday, June 14th will feature the first bobblehead of the season when the Skyward Central Wisconsin Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Cathy Tritz (Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School) will have a bobblehead featuring her likeness. The first Rosco P. Rafter bobblehead giveaway of the season will come your way on Thursday, July 7th for Marshfield Clinic Outdoorsman Night. The bobblehead will feature Rosco P. Rafter log rolling. Thursday, July 21st will feature a Rosco for President Bobblehead presented by Advanced Disposal.
On four Friday nights during the 2016 season the Rafters will feature post-game fireworks shows that will dazzle all fans in attendance. The fireworks series will open up on Friday, July 17th presented by Advanced Disposal. Marshfield Clinic will help start the Fourth of July festivities with a fireworks extravaganza following the Rafters home game on July 1st. All fans in attendance on July 1st will also receive a lighted baton to enhance the atmosphere at Witter Field during the fireworks display. Friday, July 22nd will be the third fireworks show of the season sponsored by Budweiser, following the Rafters tilt with the expansion Rockford Rivets. The 2016 fireworks series will conclude on the final game of the season, Friday, August 12th and will be presented by Heartland Farms.
Shane Obedzinski, who starred as Tommy ‘Repeat’ Timmons in the classic baseball movie The Sandlot, will be on hand to sign autographs and interact with fans on Saturday, June 4th. Fans are encouraged to stick around after the game as the movie will be played on a large, inflatable movie screen in the outfield. On Thursday, July 7th, four-time log rolling and two-time boom running World Champion, Shana Verstegen will be on hand for Marshfield Clinic Outdoorsman Night. “Hey, hey, hey, what is going on here?” Get ready for some fun on Friday, July 15th as the Rafters first-ever 90’s Night will feature an appearance by actor Dennis Haskins, known for his role as principal Richard Belding in the teen sitcom Saved by the Bell, which ran from 1989 to 1993 on NBC. Haskins then went on to star in Saved by the Bell: The New Class, which aired from 1993 to 2000. He also portrayed the role as a regular in the sitcom Good Morning, Miss Bliss.
The inflatable, zany, ZOOperstars! will appear at Witter Field twice during the upcoming season–on June 2nd presented by Paper City Savings and again on August 11th presented by the Rafters Founding Partners. Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey will return to Witter Field on June 21st presented by Nasonville Dairy. The 3-time Pro Rodeo Entertainer of the Year is a Capuchin Monkey who has been riding since he was two years old. He has also starred in a series of television advertisements for Taco John’s and has appeared on ESPN, Good Morning America, and The Today Show. World’s Strongest Redneck, Steve McGranahan, will make his debut at Witter Field on June 22nd for Heartland Farms Redneck Night. Standing 6 feet tall and weighing in at 340 pounds, McGranahan is able to bench press 500 pounds and is known to flip 800 pound tires just for fun. He lifted his first car at age 15. Fans will be treated to a night full of entertainment with unthinkable feats. The first fans through the gates will also receive a Rafters mason jar. It’s Rally time again on Friday, July 29th presented by Schierl Tire and Service. Players flying out of the dugout, dancing grounds crews, and pranks pulled on fans, are just a few of Rally’s tricks. Daniel Browning Smith, also known as Rubberboy, will be on hand for the game on Sunday, August 7th. Rubberboy is a contortionist, actor, television host, comedian, and stuntman who holds the title of the most flexible person in history, owning a total of seven Guinness World Records. He has appeared in television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: NY, and Stan Lee’s Superhumans as well as films such as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, and Foodfight!
Jersey Auction Nights
The Rafters will hold four jersey auctions during the 2016 season that will feature all-new jersey designs than in previous seasons. Marshfield Clinic Blackout Melanoma Awareness Night will be held on Sunday, June 12th. That evening the Rafters will wear black uniforms that will be available for auction with all proceeds going to the Marshfield Clinic Cancer Research Foundation. All fans are encouraged to wear black to show support to those affected by Melanoma skin cancer. Fey Printing will sponsor Turn Back the Clock Night on June 28th featuring powder blue Twins jerseys. The Rafters will pay tribute to the city’s baseball history with an ode to the Wisconsin Rapids Twins with uniforms available in a silent auction to benefit SWEPS Food Pantry. The night will also feature $1 hot dogs and root beer floats. On Thursday, July 28th Ho-Chunk Gaming Nekoosa will sponsor the first-ever patriotic themed jerseys on Military Appreciation Night. All proceeds from the jersey auction will benefit the Never Forgotten Honor Flight. Baseball bingo will accompany the special American flag inspired jersey auction. Advanced Disposal Christmas in August Night will be the perfect way to gear up for the holidays as the Rafters host the Northwoods League defending Champion Kenosha Kingfish on August 6th. The Rafters will wear green elf jerseys to be auctioned off to benefit the Boys and Girls Club and fans are encouraged to bring gently used items for a Toys for Tots collection. There will also be an appearance by Santa so he can start making his list.
Theme Nights and Giveaways
Opening Day for the Rafters on Wednesday, June 1st will feature magnet schedule giveaway courtesy of Nieman’s Service. Faith and Family Day will take place on Sunday, June 5th and will include live pre-game music. Thursday, June 9th will feature a Rosco P. Rafter Garden Gnome giveaway to the first fans through the gates, with Rosco showcasing the new Rafters home jersey design. United Way is sponsoring the Hunger Coalition Food Sculpture Event – United We Can on Wednesday, June 15th. The June 15th game will also include a Wisconsin Dells Coupon Book Giveaway presented by Delton Grand. Paul Gross Jewelers Princess Night will take place on Thursday, June 16th. Dress in your favorite princess attire and prepare for hair styling, beading, and face painting stations along with a necklace giveaway for the first young fans through the gate. There will also be a fan vote for the best dressed princess on-field. Salute to Dairy Night presented by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board will take place on Tuesday, June 21st. Duncan Disability Law Pajama Night will take place on Thursday, June 30th. All fans are encouraged to wear their pajamas. The first fans through the gate will receive the first-ever Rafters pillowcase, which will also salute the Olympics. Witter Field will once again welcome all dogs to the game on Wednesday, July 6th with the return of Quality Feed and Seed Bark in the Park Night. Fans can bring their canine companions to the game and receive a dog leash giveaway, courtesy of Quality Feed and Seed. Fans are also encouraged to dress themselves and their dogs up for an on-field costume contest. The return of the Hot Dog Hundo promotion will also take place on July 6th, with fans having a chance to win cash prizes of up to $100 by purchasing a hot dog. Solarus Baseball Card Night will be held on Wednesday, July 13th, when trading card sets of the 2016 team will be handed out prior to the game. On Thursday, July 14th Incourage will give away drawstring trick-or-treat bags on Summerween. There will be a Halloween costume contest and trick-or-treating around the ballpark to help replicate the holiday. Fans will get to take home a poster of this year’s Rafters team on Tuesday, July 26th, presented by Luke A. Weiland Attorney at Law. Game one of the doubleheader on Monday, August 1st at 12:05 will be Boys & Girls Club Day presented by Cellcom. The nightcap on August 1st at 7:05 will feature Bacon themed specials like BLT’s, pigsicles, bacon chocolate sundaes, and bacon wrapped shrimp for Bacon Appreciation Night. Game Show Night is set for Monday, August 8th with on-field games inspired by favorite classics and feature a grand prize giveaway. Mid-State Technical College Protective Services Night on Wednesday, August 10th will honor police, fire, paramedics, corrections, and other departments who perform the tasks that keep us safe. A variety of vehicles that are used in this industry will be on hand. The ever-popular Fan Appreciation Night will take place on Friday, August 12th and will feature giveaways all night long.
Assumption Catholic Schools Night will occur on Wednesday, June 8th as the Rafters host the Thunder Bay Border Cats at 7:05pm. Make sure to wear blue and show off your Royals pride. June 13th will be Incourage Guaranteed Win Night at the ballpark. The first 250 fans that bring a non-perishable food item to the Rafters ticket office will have the chance to purchase two tickets for the price of one. If the Rafters lose the game against Rockford that night, all fans will receive a ticket voucher to a future game upon exiting the stadium. Aspirus Riverview Night will be Wednesday, June 22nd. Join us for a night dedicated to all the good Aspirus Riverview does for Wisconsin Rapids and the surrounding communities. Renaissance Learning Night is slated for Wednesday, July 27th. July 29th will be Schierl Tire and Service Night to benefit the Boys and Girls Club. McCain Foods Night will take place on Sunday, August 7th.
The first ever Wine and Canvas event will take place pre-game on Thursday, June 30th, from 5:30-7:00 and will be a baseball themed portrait. Fans can contact the Rafters front office to pre-register for one of the 50 available spots. Saturday, July 16th the Rafters will be on the Road but fans are invited to come out to Witter Field for the 2nd Annual Wisconsin Cheese CurdFest from 6:00-9:00 PM. Sample and vote for the best curds in Wisconsin. There will be live music by The Wise Guys, inflatables, Cheese Home Run Challenge, and more. The Rafters away game will also be played in the stadium for fans to watch. On the morning of August 6th Rosco will lead fans in the Marshfield Clinic 2nd Annual “Raft the Wisconsin Race” beginning at 10:00am. Pre-registration deadline is Friday, July 22nd. Additional details on the River Race will be revealed closer to the event.
The Rafters host their season opener on Wednesday, June 1st at 7:05 pm when they take on the Green Bay Bullfrogs. Rafters single game tickets go on sale on Friday, April 22nd at 9:00am. Tickets will be available by visiting Raftersbaseball.com or calling the Rafters ticket office at 715-424-5400.