A group gathered on Shadow Lane Monday afternoon to carry on a 35-year tradition: painting the Packers fence.
This year, organizers chose a phrase honoring the late Bart Starr: “A Starr Shines – A New Era Dawns.”
“It’s just a good year to think back, sit back, and think of where it all truly started,” Bruce Kiel, one of the Packers fence organizers said.
The phrase came about when the group realized fence owner Fred Harrsch’s affinity for Starr.
“We went through probably about 20 or 30 phrases and we realized that Fred really likes the Bart Starr memories,” Kiel said.
Mark Murphy, Packers President & CEO was on-hand for the fence painting.
“I think it’s a nice tribute to Bart,” he said, “and the way he just lived his life. He was such a humble man.”
Murphy added that he took a picture of the freshly painted fence and plans to send it to Bart’s wife, Cherry Starr.
The second half of this year’s slogan focuses on the future of the team.
“The players, the new players, the rookies, it’s a very young team, but they really seem to be buying into this new era,” Kiel said, “and I think it’s going to be very good, and so do most of the people I talk to.”
Those Packers faithfuls are the ones who show up year after year to help paint the fence.
“You look at our team, our organization, we have so many different traditions and so many of them revolve around the connection with our fans and the community, and this is an example of that,” Murphy said.
Murphy added that since Harrsch started painting his fence in 1984, he’s seen many others follow suit.
“I give Fred credit,” Murphy said. “I mean he started it and you walk up and down Lombardi and a lot of people trying to copy it, but this is the original.”