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Gearing up for the big game: All-Star action, preps in full swing

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Workers are up early at Target Field, preparing for the Gillette Home Run Derby on Monday night in advance of Tuesday's 85th annual Major League Baseball's All-Star Game. ESPN will carry the Derby event at 7 p.m. Gates at Target Field will open at 4 p.m.

KSTP reports that the ESPN''s nationally syndicated Mike and Mike radio show is broadcasting live Monday morning from downtown Minneapolis as part of the build up for the day.

FOX 9 has a list of the day's activities, which includes the All-Star FanFest at the Minneapolis Convention Center from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.. FanFest is a massive interactive baseball theme park featuring a clubhouse, dugout, diamond and demo zones; it will be open through the night of the All-Star Game. Monday is All-Star Workout Day at Target Field as well.

The activities mean a number of traffic changes in downtown Minneapolis; the Star Tribune has a full list of closures and changes.

As visitors, players, dignitaries and reporters prepare for the big game, WCCO reports that Meet Minneapolis has started what it calls a "virtual concierge service" to allow anyone with a question to tweet it to #askMPLS. Some of the 1,000-plus inquiries already received have come from people asking about kid-friendly day activities, local towing services and transportation via light rail, NiceRide bicycles or cab.

Visitors who don't tweet can ask questions of an army of real staffers wearing Meet Minneapolis shirts. The station noted that in addition to the Green Line light rail, there is also a real life green line painted on downtown sidewalks directing fans from Target Field to the Minneapolis Convention Center.

“The function of the green line is to get people from the convention center to Target Field and back by walking. So, if you’re in town from out of town and you don’t know how to get to FanFest Target Field, there’s no excuse now,” Kevin Smith, of the Minneapolis Twins told the station.

The Northlands News Center noted that the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flew into Duluth's 148th Fighter Wing over the weekend, preparing to do a flyover at the All-Star game.

"We'll have a couple of folks on the ground at the game that are working the deconfliction and timing plan and we'll have six jets airborne doing the flyover just before the game starts," said Major Michael Fisher, Thunderbird 8 Advanced Pilot and Narrator for the Thunderbirds.

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