Fan Fest under way

More than 3,000 fill Lambeau Field atrium

Brett Favre was at Fan Fest Friday night, but only as a memory compliments of the team's video highlights of the mid-1990's glory years on display near the main stage. Still, Favre's absence didn't deter more than 3,000 die-hard Packer Backers from flooding the Lambeau Field atrium to see many of their current and former heroes.

Fans from Florida to California and many points in between made the trek to the second annual celebration of Packers football. The three-day event kicked off Friday evening and continues through Sunday afternoon in the atrium.

The festival began with a 30-minute live television show hosted by former Packers center Larry McCarren. Guests were Packers president Bob Harlan, executive vice president John Jones, general manager Ted Thompson, and new head coach Mike McCarthy.

The Packers also introduced their entire coaching staff to the fans, as well as many of the players who were present to sign autographs. Current and former players scheduled to make appearances over the weekend include Max McGee, Paul Hornung, Kevin Barry, Tony Fisher, William Henderson, Bubba Franks, Nick Barnett, Edgar Bennett, John Brockington, LeRoy Butler, Nick Collins, Santana Dotson, Lynn Dickey, Antonio Freeman, Samkon Gado, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, Mike Hawkins, Paul Hornung, Don Majkowski, Larry McCarren, Brian Noble, Brady Poppinga, Aaron Rodgers, Bart Starr, Corey Williams, Frank Winters and William Whitticker.

McCarthy was overwhelmed with the festival. He said he had heard about it from others, but was impressed with the enthusiasm of the fans when he walked on the stage.

"It hits you, no doubt about it," McCarthy said. "I see a lot of green and gold out there. They definitely live up to their billing as the greatest sports fans in the world. I'm sure you can't find an event like this anywhere. I know our coaching staff is blown away by it and how thrilled they are to be a part of it."

Friday night's highlights, in addition to the television program, includes three "Wild Card" autograph sessions and a meet-and-greet session with the Packers' coaching staff.

Saturday highlights include three "Wild Card" autograph sessions, multiple general autograph sessions, and Packers question-and-answer sessions with WTMJ Radio personnel.

Sunday's lineup includes a tour through the Packers locker room, two "Wild Card" autograph sessions, a general autograph session and Packers question-and-answer sessions with WTMJ Radio personnel. Locker room tour times will be assigned as fans enter the Atrium Sunday morning.

Tickets priced at $75 each sold out immediately and were distributed via a lottery. A number of vendors sold Packer-related items and the Packers also include a number of free games for fans to play. The ticket price also includes free admission to the Packers Hall of Fame and automatic entry into a drawing for four Fan Fest door prizes.

A portion of Fan Fest proceeds will go to charity through the Green Bay Packers Foundation.


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