Paint the Town Red Week kicks off Saturday

Paint the Town Red Week kicks off Saturday

With just one week remaining in Spring Training, the Phillies will kick off their annual Paint the Town Red Week on Saturday, in which the club will host a series of fan-friendly events to gear up for Opening Day on April 1 against the Braves.

The Red Phanatic will attend all of the events, which are open to the public, and fans can also follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #RedPhanatic.

The festivities begin Saturday morning with the third annual Phillies Charities 5K, in which the Red Phanatic will lead more than 5,000 runners out of the gate near Citizens Bank Park. There are surprises scheduled throughout the race to keep runners motivated, and there will also be a number of special guests in attendance, including former Phillie Tommy Greene, the Phillies Ballgirls, Phoebe Phanatic and broadcaster Jim Jackson.

On Sunday, the Phillies, along with the Pennsylvania SPCA and Friends of Schuylkill River Park, will host a "Pup Rally" at 1 p.m. ET at Schuylkill River Park. Fans are encouraged to parade their canines in Phillies gear, with the best-dressed dogs receiving special prizes. Cats and dogs will be available for adoption on-site, while blankets, toys and monetary donations to the Pennsylvania SPCA will also be accepted.

The Phillies will take to the road Monday for the College Trolley Tour, making stops at various local colleges. The Phillies' official Twitter account (@Phillies) will provide updates of when and where the trolley, featuring free on-board fun, will make its appearances.

The Red Phanatic will then show off his moves Tuesday in the Phanatic Dance Party at 11 a.m. in the Please Touch Museum. The Phanatic will again be joined by the Phillies Ballgirls, as well as broadcasters Larry Andersen and Scott Franzke, and 98.1 WOGL. Children wearing Phillies gear and mentioning the dance party will receive free admission to the museum up until noon.

On Wednesday, the focus will shift to Conestoga Playground, where fans will hear about plans to renovate the park into a state-of-the-art environmental-friendly play space. Afterwards, kids will have the chance to participate in a number of activities led by the Phanatic, Phillies Ballgirls, Franzke and Andersen.

Those same guests invite fans to take a lunch break with them Thursday at the Comcast Center and The Markets & Shops at Comcast Center. The Phillies-Blue Jays game will be shown live on the big screen starting at 1 p.m., and fans will receive rally towels, as well as Comcast SportsNet Phillies beads and cheercards.

The week will culminate with plenty of prizes and surprises dished out when the Phils return to Philadelphia to host the Blue Jays next Friday and Saturday at Citizens Bank Park in their final spring games. Both games will feature unique player and alumni interaction for fans, merchandise specials and entertainment throughout the day.

Prior to Friday's game at 7:05 p.m., the Phillies will host an afternoon reception from 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m., at which various players will participate in question-and-answer sessions and autograph stations. Attendees will also receive a complementary ticket to that evening's game.

The Phillies' home opener is on April 5 against the Royals at 4:05 p.m.

Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.