Phanatic statues to be unveiled on Monday

Phanatic statues to be unveiled on Monday

Call it a Phanatic photo op.

On Monday the Phillies will kick off their annual Paint the Town Red Week with a public unveiling of "Phanatic Around Town," a new tourism and fan initiative that features six-foot Phillie Phanatic statues all over Philadelphia.

The noon ET event, held in partnership with the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, is free and will be held at the Please Touch Museum, rain or shine.

And it certainly will be a big unveiling. After all, it's the first time a Major League mascot has been molded into a public arts project.

All 20 of the 100-pound, fiberglass Phanatics will be revealed, with help from the freshly dyed Red Phanatic and local artists who painted the statues. Broadcaster Scott Franzke is flying in from Spring Training, and he'll be joined by Phillies Ballgirls as well as members from the Philadelphia Orchestra, who plan on making the Phanatics' grand entrance even grander. The popular rally towels will also be distributed.

The statues will be on display until 2 p.m., and this will be one of the rare times that all of the Phanatics will be at one location.

In addition, visitors who wear red to the Please Touch Museum attractions will be given a $2 discount off general admission plus 10 percent off in the Kids Store.

Later that afternoon, the statues will begin their move to various "fun spots," giving fans a great way to tour the city through August. Among the destinations are Citizens Bank Park (featuring a statue autographed by 2010 Phillies players), The Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Zoo, Comcast Center, the Please Touch Museum, the African American Museum, Betsy Ross House, Citizens Bank, Lloyd Hall, the Independence Visitors Center, the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia International Airport, the Philadelphia Free Library, Franklin Square, the Independence Seaport Museum at Penn's Landing, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, John F. Kennedy Plaza/LOVE Park and City Hall.

After the 2010 season, the statues will be auctioned, with net proceeds going to Phillies Charities.

The public unveiling is just Day 1 of Paint the Town Red Week, which celebrates the return of baseball season. Other events include a Phillies Blood Drive on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park, the "Go Phillies" Pep Rally hosted by Citizens Bank at noon at the Citizens Bank branch at 15th and Market, and Community Paint Day on Thursday.

In addition, several locations will be offering discounts in honor of the week, and area landmarks will turn red in honor of the Phillies' return.

For complete details, please visit www.phillies.com/paintthetownred or www.phillies.com/phanaticaroundtown.

Deborah Rinaldi is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.