The time is almost here to get out the green and gold and celebrate in style with the Green Bay Packers, as the team's annual Tailgate Tour prepares to make a stop in Antigo this Saturday, with a local non-profit group to benefit.
Habitat for Humanity of Langlade County will receive 100 percent of profits from the event, which caps off a week-long whirlwind tour across the state by Chief Executive Officer Mark Murphy and a host of recent standouts.
Murphy will be joined by Nick Barnett, Earl Dotson, Ryan Grant, Bernardo Harris, Aaron Kampman and Scott Wells. The five-day, five-city tour has already made stops in Marshfield Tuesday and Sparta today, with New Richmond scheduled for Thursday and Chippewa Falls Friday before the Packers bus wraps up Saturday in Antigo at the Langlade County Fairgrounds.
The Multi-Purpose Building setting will make fans able to enjoy the party in comfortable indoor conditions.
The annual caravan is a way for the team thank fans throughout other areas of the state for their support, and visit with them in person. Tailgate parties are held in each city to benefit a local non-profit.
Here in Langlade County, Habitat for Humanity is excited for the opportunity, with the proceeds helping to continue many of their programs, which help strengthen the community.
The Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour is only days away.
Top, from left, Jeff Dahlke, Tom Jahnke, Curt Parsons and
Marisa Kohler of Parson's of Antigo hold up a sign promoting the event,
while at the bottom, Angi Schreiber and Jenny Schlundt in referee garb,
pose with some of the silent auction items.
“We were approached by the Packers about the opportunity and jumped on it,” Habitat director Angi Schreiber said. “We've built about 10 homes since our chapter was formed here in 2001 and helped between 20-25 kids get into a safe environment.”
While the homes are not given away by Habitat for Humanity, they provide an excellent opportunity for families in need. Recipients must take financial literacy courses, help build the home itself and make mortgage payments, but at zero percent interest.
The Critical Repair program involves Habitat members going into homes and making repairs such as replacing windows, building a ramp for perhaps an elderly or handicapped individual and exterior repairs.
“It's a program we are going to be focusing on going forward,” Schreiber said. “I think we can make even more of a difference in the community with it.”
Both programs are certain to receive a boost from the Tailgate Tour.
Tickets for the event are priced at three levels. V.I.P. tickets cost $150 and only 75 are sold. $40 buys a fan pass, while general admission tickets cost just $10.
All tickets earn the holder entrance to all event activities, which includes music from D.J. Esser and the local favorite, the Spicy Tie Band, who will begin playing at 1:30 p.m. Raffles, silent auction items, an opportunity to win prizes which includes Packer tickets, Brewers tickets and a signed player helmet. An item my be brought to be autographed as well.
V.I.P. ticket holders will be admitted to the pre-party at “Game On” in downtown Antigo, which begins at noon. Only a handful of V.I.P. tickets remain. One of those tickets will win a signed helmet as well.
A police escort from “Game On” will bring the Tour bus to the Fairgrounds, where doors open at the Fairgrounds at 11 a.m., with the Packers arriving at 1 p.m.
“We ask the community along the Highway 45 route to decorate their yards and houses in green and gold,” Schreiber said.
The fan pass includes a meal, two drinks, a collector's poster, access and participation in the question and answer session with Murphy and the players and one autographed item.
General admission will also allow entrance to listen in on the Q & A. Food and drink will be available for purchase. It's tailgate fare of course, with brats, hamburgers, hot dogs and yes, cheese curds on the menu courtesy of the Antigo Optimists Club.
Tickets are available at Lakeside Market and Pick ‘N Save in Antigo. Those wishing to purchase V.I.P. tickets can contact Schreiber, information is available at www.langladehabitat.org. Volunteers are also welcome.
A number of local sponsors have stepped forward to make the event possible as well. Major sponsors include Parson's of Antigo and Integrated Pain Solutions, along with the Thrivent Financial Pinnacle Team and CoVantage Credit Union.
Other sponsors include Fuller C.P.A.'s, Schroeder's, Ho-Chunk Gaming, Lakeside Market, Mattoon Market, Kerber Rose, Waukesha Bearings, Dover, Wagner Shell and Aspirus Langlade Hospital.
Media sponsors include the Antigo Daily Journal, Antigo Times, local radio stations Country 106 and Classic Hits 98.7, Midwest Communications and NRG Media.