Fans cheer for Packers victory at first tailgate of 2023

GREEN BAY, Wis. — With the stakes high on the field, Green Bay Packers fans headed to Lambeau Field Sunday for their first tailgate of the new year.

Before the Packers and Minnesota Vikings took to the field, fans, including Mike McGinnity, celebrated 2023 and hoped the year would start out their way. It did, with the Packers winning 41-17 to keep their playoff hopes alive.

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“The experience at Lambeau has nothing to do with what happens inside the stadium but has so much to do with what happens outside the stadium,” he said. “I feel bad for people that come to the game and just go to the game.”

McGinnity hasn’t missed a game or tailgate in Green Bay in 30 years — Brett Favre’s first season with the Packers.

“When you’re doing it for 30 years, you need music and people and really good brats and that’s it,” he said.

McGinnity makes the 90-mile drive from Wausau each week and leaves his tailgating gear at his mom’s house in Green Bay. He said he does it for the people, like two young girls who made the trek from Florida to the frozen tundra.

For most, the holiday season is wrapping up. The holiday season for McGinnity, though, is Packers season.

“It’s like Christmas and New Years and birthdays and everything, it’s why we come to these games,” he said. “We can’t control what happens on the field… but we can control what happens in the parking lot. This is a place for friends and family to gather, and there’s nothing like it in the world.”