It may not have been Lambeau Field tailgating, but from the several hundred of Packers fans that piled into Hudson Grille in Midtown, Atlanta Friday evening, no one would have known the difference.
For the second-straight year, the Green Bay Packers and Packer Fan Tours brought Green Bay's leading supporters together for the ultimate road game pep rally to kick-off Saturday night's Packers-Falcons divisional matchup.
Despite being 900-some miles from home, the Green Bay Packers made sure to bring a bit of Wisconsin to Friday's event.
Fans were treated to Packers giveaways upon entering, along with raffle prizes that included tickets to Saturday's game and autographed merchandise. In addition, Wisconsin favorites from the Green Bay Packers official sponsors, including Miller Lite, Johnsonville Brats, and Sargento Cheese products were provided.
Fans were not only excited to share their support with fellow Packer-backers, but Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy was there to join in the festivities with them. Also attending the celebration were former Packers wide receiver Antonio Freeman (1995-2001, 2003), quarterback Don Majkowski (1987-1992), running back Dorsey Levens (1994-2001), and defensive tackle Grady Jackson (2003-2005).
Former Packers great and member of Green Bay's 1996 Super Bowl XXXI championship team, Dorsey Levens took pride in seeing so many fans in the Atlanta area, his current hometown.
"It's a great atmosphere here tonight," Levens said. "Packers fans have always been supportive and it's great to see so many of them here in Atlanta.
"I'm excited for the Packers. There will be a good showing at the game tomorrow (today), and they should have a good game."
Murphy said he was excited to share in the enthusiasm at the pep rally, as he signed autographs and mingled with the fans.
"These fans really are the best fans in the NFL," Murphy said. "I asked the crowd how many people had been to Lambeau Field and a lot of them cheered, 'There is no place like Lambeau Field.'
"At our last two home games the fans were great. The real energy from the fans shows how great their support is, and that means so much to our team."
The level of excitement pouring from fans of this proud franchise continued to show why there is such a strong following for this historical team.
Two fans in attendance, Bob Daniels and son Jon, were thrilled to go back to their roots with Friday's pep rally. Originally from Stevens Point, Wis the two now reside in Douglasville, Ga., and were excited about the pep rally.
"We love the Packers and were excited to come to an event like this," Daniels said.
He said he has been a season ticket holder for 22 years and his father has been for 60 years.
Hours before the pep rally began, Packers game and fan development manager Kandi Goltz said fans were already showing their support.
"We started decorating early this afternoon in the upstairs area of Hudson Grille, and once people saw all the Green and Gold Packers decorations we could hear patrons in the lower bar chanting 'Go Pack Go.' You really could feel the excitement and positive morale in the air.
"Hudson Grille was so helpful and welcoming," Goltz said. "They had already put up their own Green and Gold decorations, along with signs saying 'Welcome Packers.'"
She was thrilled to see the additional support provided by Packer Fan Tours.
"Everyone did a great job making the event possible, and I think the G-Force truly gave Atlanta some Green Bay ferocity."