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California-based Packers fan group throws the 'perfect tailgate' in Lambeau neighborhood

Posted at 6:18 AM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 07:18:53-04

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) -- Some of the biggest tailgates aren't in the parking lots of Lambeau Field.

And as the Packers season opens, David Lucero is upholding his decade-long tradition.

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"It was definitely tough watching the Packers -- especially with a 13-3 season and getting so close to the Super Bowl -- sitting on my recliner," the Green Bay resident said.

Lucero is the president of the So-Cal Packer Backers, a 12,000-person group that meets at a game once a year.

Originally from Southern California, Lucero says seeing his old friends makes the perfect tailgate.

"We get together [and] we set up a meet-up spot," he said. "We all cheer and spend time together on the weekend and come root on the Packers for victory."

Dozens from out-of-state attended the group's tailgate three blocks east of Lambeau.

"These guys had to jump on planes, trains and automobiles just to get over here," former Colton, Calif. native Drew Lomeli said.

With cornhole, ping pong and a long table of food, Lomeli says the perfect tailgate can be simple.

"You can look behind and just tell, as long as you got good company and good food," he said.

The So-Cal Packer Backers went with a Mexican food theme at their tailgate, while mixing in a few Wisconsin classics.

"I tend to mark these games down on the calendar because it's what I live for," Lomeli said.

While many of the tailgaters flew in from California, some say celebrating in Green Bay feels like home.

"Just today, we got God's grace of the sun just shining down on us, just amazing," Corpus Christi resident and Packers fan Marcos Flores said. "You're in Green Bay Wisconsin. You don't need too much more."