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  • Fri., Apr. 18, 2014 6:00PM - 8:30PM CDT Tailgate Tour: Rice Lake party

    The Green Bay Packers announced plans for the ninth ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour,’ set for April 15-19. This year’s tour includes two stops in Michigan, in addition to three Wisconsin stops, to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

    Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Jarrett Bush, Brad Jones and Mason Crosby, and Packers alumni Paul Coffman, Lynn Dickey and James Lofton.

    The tailgate parties will welcome the players and alumni arriving at each location at 6 p.m., and will run until 8:30 p.m., except in Merrill, where the tailgate party will take place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. A local non-profit organization will host each party which will feature food, giveaways, question-and-answer sessions and autographs. Tailgate party tickets cost $30.

    General admission tickets also will be available for $5, which includes access to the Q-and-A sessions as well as tailgate party activities. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Due to space limitations, no general admission tickets will be available in Ironwood. 

    One hundred percent of the Tailgate Tour proceeds will benefit the hosting organizations.

    Tickets for the tailgate parties at all locations will go on sale Friday, Feb. 28. ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour’ tailgate party locations, hosting organizations and ticket information are as follows:

    Rice Lake: Barron County Fairgrounds. To benefit Benjamin’s House. Tickets on sale at Marketplace Foods, 330 S. Main St., Rice Lake; and Rainbow Home Center, 1124 Hammond Ave., Rice Lake.

  • Sat., Apr. 19, 2014 12:30PM - 3:00PM CDT Tailgate Tour: Merrill party

    The Green Bay Packers announced plans for the ninth ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour,’ set for April 15-19. This year’s tour includes two stops in Michigan, in addition to three Wisconsin stops, to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

    Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Jarrett Bush, Brad Jones and Mason Crosby, and Packers alumni Paul Coffman, Lynn Dickey and James Lofton.

    The tailgate parties will welcome the players and alumni arriving at each location at 6 p.m., and will run until 8:30 p.m., except in Merrill, where the tailgate party will take place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. A local non-profit organization will host each party which will feature food, giveaways, question-and-answer sessions and autographs. Tailgate party tickets cost $30.

    General admission tickets also will be available for $5, which includes access to the Q-and-A sessions as well as tailgate party activities. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Due to space limitations, no general admission tickets will be available in Ironwood. 

    One hundred percent of the Tailgate Tour proceeds will benefit the hosting organizations.

    Tickets for the tailgate parties at all locations will go on sale Friday, Feb. 28. ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour’ tailgate party locations, hosting organizations and ticket information are as follows:

    Merrill: MARC. To benefit Riverbend Trail. Tickets on sale at Merrill Chamber of Commerce, 705 N. Center Ave., Merrill; Dave’s County Market, 300 E. 1st St., Merrill; and Drew’s Piggly Wiggly, 3404 E. Main St., Merrill. Tickets also available online at www.merrillchamber.org.

  • Sat., Apr. 26, 2014 8:00AM - 6:00PM CDT Packers Pro Shop Tent Sale

    The sale is taking place earlier than in previous years, due to the construction at Lambeau Field and the work that the Pro Shop team must complete in preparation for the new store, which will open this summer. Visitors to Lambeau Field should enter the Atrium through the Oneida Nation Gate. Parking is available in the lot on Lambeau Field’s east side near the Oneida Nation Gate, which can be accessed off Oneida Street and Lombardi Avenue.

    The sale will feature the traditional mix of Pro Shop items greatly reduced in price and other special purchases.

    The team’s football operations staff also has provided Packers team apparel no longer in use, including a large assortment of t-shirts, shorts, jackets, jerseys and pants. Some items are practice-worn gear not normally available in the Pro Shop.

    The tent sale began in 1994 in the parking lot outside the former Pro Shop on the north end of Lambeau Field and grew into a popular event. Now in its 11th year in the Atrium, the tent sale also was held in the west side stadium concourse in previous years.

     
  • Sat., May. 10, 2014 7:00PM CDT Eddie Lacy appearance 22nd Annual Doug Jirschele Memorial Sports Award Banquet
  • Sat., Jun. 07, 2014 8:30AM - 3:30PM CDT JPP Kids Clinic

    The 17th annual Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic is set for Saturday, June 7, 2014 in the Don Hutson Center with sessions ranging from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    The Junior Power Pack Clinic gives members ages 5-14 years old the opportunity to practice football skills and drills with other Packers backers and a few up-and-coming Packers players.  Parents/Guardians are welcome to come and watch their child/ren participate in the clinic. 

    Members may choose one of three sessions to attend:

    • Session 1 – 8:30 to 10 a.m.
    • Session 2 – 11 to 12:30 p.m.
    • Session 3 – 2 to 3:30 p.m.


    The event will be held inside the Don Hutson Center, the Packers indoor practice facility. Parking for the event is available in the lot on Lambeau Field’s east side near the Oneida Nation Gate.  

    The Junior Power Pack Clinic is a member’s only event and will have a registration fee of $5.

    Deadline to register:

    • New Members – May 11, 2014
    • Current Members – May 18, 2014


    To sign up to become a member of the Junior Power Pack and receive an invitation to the clinic fans can go to www.packers.com/jpp.

     
  • Sat., Jun. 14, 2014 2:30PM CDT Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer

    The eleventh annual Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer motorcycle ride will be held, rain or shine, on Saturday, June 14, 2014. The ride will start at Vandervest Harley-Davidson (1966 Velp Avenue, Green Bay) and will make a fun-filled stop at the Seymour Fireman's Picnic, held at the Outagamie County Fairgrounds in Seymour.

    Ride Day Schedule

    • 9-10:30 am: Registration at Vandervest Harley-Davidson, Geen Bay
    • 11 am: Depart Vandervest Harley-Davidson, Green Bay
    • 12 pm: Arrive in Seymour. Enjoy food, beverages, entertainment and a short program.
    • 2:30 pm: Party kicks off at the new South Endzone Festival Foods MVP Deck at Lambeau Field! Guests can access the space by way of the Shopko Gate. See the field and enjoy the atmosphere from this beautiful indoor/outdoor space newly opened and accessed by very few. The party will include silent and live auction, food, beverages, music and merchandise available for purchase.


    More information: http://cruiseforcancer.org/

     

Packers support Spartans with party

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 17, 2014 – 8:41 pm

The Packers Tailgate Tour surpassed the halfway point with a tailgate party at Superior High School to support the National Bank of Commerce Spartan Sports Complex.

Prior to the party, the members of the Tailgate Tour had the opportunity to participate in the groundbreaking of the complex.

Mark Murphy saluted the community for their backing of the new facility.

“This will be a wonderful addition to the community,” Murphy said. “Sports events are a great way to bring a community together and these fields will be used for many different sports by both boys and girls teams.”

After the ceremony concluded, Paul Coffman kept digging and implored the rest of the participants to continue their work.

“Hey, we’ve got work to do,” he said. “Let’s stay out here and get these fields built.”

Inside the gymnasium, more than 400 fans were on hand to hear from the tour members and receive autographs.

Mason Crosby was asked about the kicking changes that will be tried out this preseason.

“It will be interesting to see what happens,” Crosby said. “If they end up implementing the longer extra points, it will definitely give kickers more value.”

Lynn Dickey enjoyed reminiscing for the crowd about his memories of the famous Snowbowl game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1985. The game took place during a snowstorm and saw nearly 10 inches of snow fall during the game.

“It was incredible,” he said. “I’ve never experienced anything like it. I couldn’t see the far end of the field at times.”

During the autograph session, Crosby, as he had done all day long, gave high fives to many fans.

“Hey, it’s national high five day,” he said. “Let’s go. Spread it around!”


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Packers surprise Northwestern High

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 17, 2014 – 3:59 pm

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After mastering the art of the drive-through, the members of the Tailgate Tour performed their next surprise stop, an assembly at Northwestern High School in Maple, Wis.

More than 430 students were on hand to listen to the players and alumni discuss the importance of never giving up and utilizing the talents that you have.

James Lofton, in addition to discussing one’s talent, urged students to find something about which they are passionate.

“I hope you find something you can do with passion,” he said. “Find something that keeps you up at night, something you’re eager to do each day.”

Brad Jones echoed Lofton’s sentiments, but also added that the students needed to work hard to fully utilize their gifts.

During the Q-and-A session, players were asked about the difficulties of seeing teammates go to other teams, as well as having new players become teammates. Mason Crosby acknowledged it was difficult to see a player go, but said it’s part of the game. Regarding new teammates, Crosby said sometimes it’s simply great to have a nemesis no longer be an opponent.

“I am happy to have Julius Peppers on our team now. He blocked four of my kicks with the Chicago Bears,” he explained.

Social media has become a part of the tour as well, with one student requesting a “selfie.” The tour members obliged, but made sure he was to label it #tailgate tour.

On the road again, the Tailgate Tour is heading to Superior. Tonight’s party will start off with a groundbreaking at the National Bank of Commerce Spartan Sports Complex, the facility that will benefit from the party.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM NORTHWESTERN HIGH


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Packers serve lunch

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 17, 2014 – 1:30 pm

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After having to forgo a surprise stop at a school due to the overnight snowfall, the guys were feeling a little hungry, but instead of taking the Tailgate Tour motor coach through the drive through, they decided that they wanted to become short-term employees at McDonald’s and Subway in Ashland, Wis.

What seemed like a normal lunch order for Ashland residents quickly became a memorable experience when they pulled up and saw the players taking their orders at the window at McDonald’s and behind the counter at Subway.

Paul Coffman and Jarrett Bush made sandwiches at Subway, with Coffman performing his work in a very detailed fashion.

“When I’m at Subway ordering, I’m very particular about spreading out the toppings, almost coaching them,” he said. “So I made sure to do a good job today behind the counter. I didn’t want anyone yelling at me.”

At McDonald’s, Mason Crosby and Brad Jones took turns handing food out the drive through window to unsuspecting customers. They also pitched in making coffee, flipping burgers and taking orders at the counter.

“My work was sufficient, but I don’t think I was the most impressive worker to ever grace the golden arches,” Jones said. “At one point I was doing everyone’s jobs, but when they asked if I wanted to handle the money, I said no, that was too much.”

And after serving lunch to fans, the Packers enjoyed their own meal at the Deep Water Grille, located in the historic downtown area of Ashland.

The Tailgate Tour is continuing to Superior.


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Pro Football has a history in Ironwood

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 17, 2014 – 1:14 pm

As the Tailgate Tour says goodbye to Ironwood, Mich., it’d be proper to note the city’s football ties to the early Packers and pro football.

According to research by Packers team historian Cliff Christl, news reports near the end of the 1922 season stated that Ironwood showed interest in obtaining a pro football franchise; many small Midwest cities had football teams during that era. With respect to the Packers, the Ironwood Legionnaires played in Green Bay in 1924 and lost to the Packers, 15-0. Later, on Sept. 5, 1938, the Packers played in Ironwood, their one preseason tune-up, and beat the Cedar Rapids, Ia., Crush, 75-0.


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School’s cancelled, let’s go to Stormy Kromer

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 17, 2014 – 12:32 pm

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With the foot of snow causing schools to be cancelled, and the related surprise stop, the Tailgate Tour detoured to the Ironwood headquarters of Stormy Kromer, the maker of wool hats noted for their comfort and warmth.

The players heard about the 100-year-old history of the company and had a chance to tour the factory and visit with the staff.

Packers fans may be familiar with Stormy Kromer as the Packers Pro Shop previously carried en exclusive Lambeau Field cap made by the company.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS


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Packers enjoy party, pass on skiing

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 17, 2014 – 10:29 am

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In a scene that was perhaps more fitting for the winter Olympics with a spring snowstorm dumping several inches of snow, the Tailgate Tour enjoyed the excitement of approximately 500 fans at the Big Powderhorn Resort.

The event benefitted the Ironwood Volunteer Fire Department, the oldest continuously operating department of the City of Ironwood, having been in service since 1887. The funds will go toward new uniforms and other equipment for the department.

Before the event with the players began, the crowd took a moment to remember Jamie Peite, a longtime firefighter and member of the event’s organizing committee, who recently passed away.

Per the nightly party custom, fans heard from the crew on a variety of topics.

James Lofton saluted Packers fans as the only fans who actually own the team, an aspect that gives the team a unique advantage and also provided him with fun moments during his time in Green Bay.

“I remember being at the grocery store, and there’d be a little old lady with her cart,” Lofton began. “And she’d stop me and say, ‘What are you going to do this Sunday?’ ”

During the autograph session, a woman told Mason Crosby that her mom has a cosmic connection with him and a regular routine that she goes through that helps him make kicks.

“I enjoy hearing those stories,” Crosby said with a laugh. “It’s nice to know up here in the U.P. I’ve got people helping me out all the time. She’s helping will the ball through, I guess. I wanted to make sure the cosmic connection was in a good way. Apparently it is.”

While the guys didn’t strap on skis at the mountain, many of them did take a mini-tour around the ski area in snow cats used for grooming the trails.

“The hours they work during the season – midnight to 9 a.m. – are amazing,” Jarrett Bush said about his guide. “He really loves his job…that was pretty cool to see. Their machines are impressive.”


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Opening a Packers checking account today?

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 16, 2014 – 4:50 pm

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The Tailgate Tour made a quick stop at the Hurley, Wis., Associated Bank, where the guys posed for pictures with bank employees and customers.

They also had fun with life-size cutouts of Aaron Rodgers, an Associated Bank spokesman.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM THE ASSOCIATED BANK STOP


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West, through the snow

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 16, 2014 – 3:24 pm

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After lunch at Spiros, a restaurant in Iron River, Mich., the Tailgate Tour continued west on U.S. Highway 2. While the snowfall is heavy, the roads are in decent shape. Ironwood is safely in sight.

Perhaps the chairlifts will be running at Big Powderhorn Resort, the site of tonight’s party to benefit the Ironwood Volunteer Fire Department.


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Honoring those who served

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 16, 2014 – 3:23 pm

140416-vets-300The Tailgate Tour members experienced a humbling visit at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain, Mich., as they spent time with about 40 veterans, including some men and women who served in World War II.

“It was an honor to be able to spend time with them,” said Brad Jones. “I tried to say thank you and let them know how much we appreciate everything they did and their sacrifice for me and others to have the freedoms we enjoy.

The players had a chance to mingle, share stories, sign autographs and pose for pictures with those in attendance.

“I enjoyed making a connection with the veterans,” said James Lofton. “My father was a World War II veteran and one of the guys I spoke with was drafted 71 years ago and served in World War II. If my father was still alive today, he’d be the same age. It was great to visit with him.

“The other connection is that they are our fans, too. So it was nice to say thanks for that as well.”

SEE PHOTOS FROM THE VA CENTER VISIT


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Another school surprise: Norway-Vulcan

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 16, 2014 – 2:33 pm

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Setting goals and perseverance were the themes for more than 700 students at Norway-Vulcan Area Schools in Norway, Mich.

Mason Crosby relayed his experience with perseverance while discussing his challenging 2012 season and the steps he took to come back strong in 2013.

During the Q-and-A session, a variety of topics were discussed, including the NFL’s hardest-to-tackle players.

“I’d have to go with Adrian Peterson,” said Brad Jones. “He is very strong and tough to bring down.”

Bush agreed, and added Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald as receivers who are tough to corral.

Crosby, who occasionally makes a tackle after kicking off, mentioned that he wasn’t upset to see Devin Hester leave the Chicago Bears, and also spoke generally of who he does not like to see returning kicks.

“First, I don’t like to be making too many tackles, but – and no offense to James Lofton – I’d rather see a wide receiver back there than a running back.”

When asked about how football has changed over the years, Lofton first spoke of how the world has changed, pointing out that he used to have to get up to change the TV channel, use a payphone, get pictures developed (“two weeks later”) and thought computers were something of the future. As he described these phenomena, the current players had a laugh at his expense.

“What are you guys laughing at?” Lofton asked with mock irritation.

After departing, a short drive was on tap to the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in nearby Iron Mountain, Mich.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS


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