Phillies fans celebrate return of baseball at Citizens Bank Park

Some fans woke up before the sun to get ready for tailgating.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia Phillies fans were excited this Opening Day, taking advantage of the beautiful weather and the return of baseball.

Some woke up before the sun to get ready for tailgating.

Kathy Nolte of Port Richmond was up by 7 a.m.

Some opted for eggs on the portable grill. Others went straight to the Bloody Mary station.

The tailgating tradition is one that has spanned decades.

SEE ALSO: Manco & Manco and 'The Big Piece' among new offerings at Citizens Bank Park
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When Phillies fans file into Citizens Bank Park this Friday for Opening Day, they will find all kinds of new food and shopping experiences -- including a Jersey Shore staple.

"We've been doing this for close to 20 years. Our neighbors we met and became friends about five to six years ago," said Veronica Lister of Folsom. "They're our parking lot neighbors, Opening Day neighbors. We keep in touch and every year we meet up for Opening Day."

The balls were flying in Citizens Bank Park and so was the Phanatic. He parachuted onto the field before the first pitch.

For the Phillies, it's time to put in work, and fans have great expectations.

"A lot of home runs going to be going out of this ballpark," said Christopher Rinaldi of Berlin, NJ.

Kyle Schwarber homered in his first at-bat with the Phillies, reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper knocked in a run and Aaron Nola struck out seven to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 9-5 win over the Oakland Athletics on Friday.

Oakland will send LHP Cole Irvin to the mound against Phillies RHP Kyle Gibson Saturday in the second game of the three-game series.

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