5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Monday, March 31, 2014

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Monday, March 31, 2014.

(1) Tampa Bay Rays 2014 Opening Day

Monday is the 2014 Opening Day for the Tampa Bay Rays.

The City of St. Petersburg kicks the celebration with a free Opening Day Rally and Block Party from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the 1300 block of Central Avenue in front of Ferg's.

There will be a live DJ, dancing, special appearances by the Rays Street Team and mascot Raymond.

Because the 4:10 p.m. game is a sell out, St. Petersburg is recommending fans going to the game either arrive early to park at Tropicana Field or parking downtown in the SouthCore or MidCore/Sundial garagesand take the free shuttle to the ballpark.

Shuttles on Monday will begin running at 2:10 p.m. and will run approximately every five minutes and end service one hour following the game.

Tropicana Field gates open to fans at 1:10 p.m.

The Rays will begin taking batting practice at 1:20 p.m. with the Blue Jays starting at 2:20 p.m.

Colonel Scott DeThomas, Commander of the 6th Air Mobility Wing at MacDill Air Force Base will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at 4:02 p.m.

Today's game will be the 17th Rays season opening game. All time the team is 8-8 in season openers and 5-4 when playing their first game at home.

For more information, visit raysbaseball.com .

(2) Rays Fan for Life

The Tampa Bay Rays will be offering newborns born Monday at Bayfront Baby Place in St. Petersburg a special "Rays Fan for Life" gift.

All babies born today will receive a certificate good for four tickets to all future Rays home openers. They will also receive a gift package delivered by Rays mascot Raymond and Rays players.

"The Rays Fan for Life program specifically will help future generations and their families feel a part of the Rays community," said Mark Fernandez, Rays Senior Vice President.

Later this season, all the infants born on opening day and their parents will be honored by the Rays during an on-field ceremony.

(3) USF health insurance enrollment event

The University of South Florida will hold a health insurance enrollment event on Monday.

Navigators from USF Health's Florida Covering Kids & Families program in partnership with USF Students Health Services will host today's event.

Representatives from Enroll America will be on site to educate people about the Marketplace. Health navigators can help individuals and families sort out their coverage choices and guide those interested in enrolling for coverage.

Walk-in are welcome, but will be assisted on a first-come, first-served basis.

The enrollment event will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the USF Student Health Services Annex Conference Room.

You can pre-register for the event by e-mailing mchavez1@health.usf.edu or calling (813) 974-0176.

(4) Top Chef of the Year Tampa Bay 2014

Some of the best Tampa Bay area chefs will be serving up a five-course meal on Monday for charity.

The Top Chef of the Year competition raises money for Champions for Children.

Each competing chef prepares a five-course meal on location for a table of 12 people. The menu includes accompanying wines to complement the meal.

This year's event includes an updated judging system to determine which chef wins the competition.

There will also be a silent auction this year to allow for a better experience for both chefs and guests.

For the past thirty-seven years, Champions for Children has used child abuse prevention and family education programs to build stronger families in Hillsborough County.

Tonight’s event begins at 6:00 p.m. at the A La Carte Event Pavilion. Individual reservations are $150 a person.

For more information on tonight's event or Champions for Children, visit www.championsforchildrentampabay.org .

(5) McDonald's free coffee

McDonald's begins offering free coffee to all its customers starting on Monday.

The hamburger chain will offer small cups of McCafé coffee at no cost during breakfast hours today through April 13.

Most McDonald's restaurant location offer breakfast from 6:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.

McDonald's says this is the first time it had ever had a free coffee event nationwide.

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