Packers Tailgate Tour coming to Prairie du Chien

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Hall of Famer Dave Robinson was an outstanding linebacker for the Green Bay Packers for 10 seasons. He also played for the Washington Redskins for two seasons.

Jerry Kramer (64) leads the Packer sweep. Kramer had a stellar 11-year career for the Green Bay Packers.

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Green Bay Packers fans in Prairie du Chien and the surrounding area should be excited to know that the Packers will be here for a visit on April 15 as part of their 10th Anniversary Tailgate Tour. 

“It’s a big thing for the city,” said Dan Schickert, of the St. Feriole Island Ballpark Committee. “It gets our name out there. The community is starting to get very excited already.” 

The event will be held at the Barn Restaurant, 32800 County Road K, and will benefit the St. Feriole Island Ballpark. The $30 tickets will go on sale at Design Homes BP North, 500 North Marquette Road, and at Dyer Communications/Radio Shack, 120 N. Marquette Road beginning at 2 p.m. on Monday, March 2. 

“I would suggest that people get their tickets early because I don’t think they’re going to last long,” said Schickert. “This will be the first and only time that this event will be held in Prairie du Chien.”

The 600 ticket buyers will get to see Tailgate Tour celebrities including Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Andrew Quarless, Micah Hyde and Casey Hayward, and Packers alumni Gilbert Brown, Antonio Freeman and Bill Schroeder. The tour will also feature special alumni in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Tailgate Tour, Dave Robinson and Jerry Kramer.

Older Packers fans will remember watching icons Kramer and Robinson during the “Glory Years” of the 1960s when the Packers won five NFL Championships and the first two Super Bowls. The Packers won three NFL Championships in a row in the 1960s, a feat unmatched by any other NFL team. Among his many accolades, Robinson, a 6-3, 245-pound outside linebacker, is a member of the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. His teammate Kramer was one of the best right guards in the league, was an All-Pro five times, and was named a member of the NFL’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1969. Kramer is also well-known as the author of the best-seller “Instant Replay” and “Distant Replay.”

The tailgate party will be held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and will feature food, two free beverages, giveaways, raffles for Green Bay Packer items, question-and-answer sessions and autographs. Robinson and Kramer autograph sessions will be limited to 150 randomly selected attendees. 

Schickert said that Greg Bender of WPRE will be the emcee of the event. The keynote speaker will be Mark Murphy. 

The St. Feriole Island Ballpark will be receiving 100 percent of the proceeds from ticket sales. The Ballpark Committee will also be selling commemorative 10th Anniversary Green Bay Packer Tailgate Tour T-shirts for $10 beginning within the next few weeks. T-shirts will be available at Radio Shack, Sports World and Jim’s Bar. They will also be sold at the event.

“The Packers decided that they had Prairie du Chien on the map,” said Schickert, who noted that the event got its start when the Packers called the Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce. Chamber of Commerce personnel directed the Packers to City Administrator Aaron Kramer who suggested that the St. Feriole Island Ballpark would be a worthy organization which could benefit. St. Feriole Island Ballpark Committee members and city officials met with Packers’ representatives in November at the Barn Restaurant to work out details. The tailgate party is being put on with no cost to the St. Feriole Island Ballpark. The Barn Restaurant is donating the use of their facility. 

The Green Bay Packers hold tailgate tour parties in five Wisconsin cities each year. Schickert said that while some other NFL teams hold similar events in order to boost ticket sales, the Packers have no need to boost tickets sales, and thus, the tailgate tour parties are held to show appreciation for the great fan support that team has received throughout the decades. 

The hosts of the event are the Barn Restaurant and the St. Feriole Island Ballpark Committee. The proceeds will go towards the daily operations of the St. Feriole Island Ballpark, including the maintenance of three ball diamonds, umpires, insurance, utilities, grounds keeping and other expenses.

“We hope to make quite a bit to support the St. Feriole Island Ballpark,” said Schickert.

There will be a VIP tailgate party from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. for the sponsors which include Country on the River, Design Homes BP North, Jim’s Bar, People’s State Bank, Prairie Industries, Sports Unlimited, Dyer Communications/U.S. Cellular, Sports World/Dye Sport, Welter Realty Century 21 and Wolf Machine. 

Other Green Bay Packer Tailgate Tour events will be held in Menomonie, Baraboo, Elkhorn and Sheboygan. The tour will take place aboard a customized motor coach emblazoned with the “10th Anniversary Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour” logo and statistics from the past 10 years of traveling. In addition to the designated locations, the tour will make surprise stops as the schedule allows. 

“The Packers are very excited to embark on the 10th annual Tailgate Tour,” said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. “Thanks to the loyalty of our fans, we are celebrating 10 successful years of this event. We are looking forward to visiting several areas throughout the state of Wisconsin, and we are proud to be supporting great organizations during the tour.”

Fans interested in Tailgate Tour details are encouraged to visit www.packers.com often, as tour information will be updated as the dates near.

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