Packers-Bears home opener weekend is stacked with Luke Combs, Train concerts, Oktoberfest at the Lorelei, igNight Market and pregame parties

Kendra Meinert
Green Bay Press-Gazette
A tailgate-themed Washington Street Block Party on Sunday afternoon in downtown Green Bay will feature the Preble High School Drumline and a reunion concert by Shaker and the Egg.

GREEN BAY - By the time the Green Bay Packers get around to playing the rival Chicago Bears for "Sunday Night Football" at Lambeau Field, the city and surrounding area will have done some serious partying.

The calendar for home-opener weekend is one celebration after another beginning Thursday night (with fireworks) and going right up until kickoff. Some events are specifically part of one of Green Bay's biggest weekends of the years. Others just had the luck of good timing on their side. 

Brace yourselves. Pace yourselves. 

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Kickoff Weekend concert: Train

When/where: 5 p.m. Saturday outside Lambeau Field in the parking lot on the northwest side of the stadium by Ridge Road.

What's going on: The Packers home-opener tradition of a free concert by a national act brings Train to Green Bay for the pop-rock band's first performance in the city. Expect frontman Pat Monahan to lead the crowd in a night of sing-alongs to such infectious late '90s/early '00s hits "Meet Virginia," "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)," "Hey, Soul Sister" and "Drive By."

Parking is free in Lambeau lots on a first-come, first-served basis. Food and beverages will be sold in the Lambeau lot and at the Titletown District across Ridge Road. Blankets and chairs are welcome. 

The Lambeau Field Atrium, including the Packers Pro Shop, Packers Hall of Fame, 1919 Kitchen & Tap and stadium tours, will be open regular business hours.

Insider tip: Ridge Road will close to traffic at 4 p.m. Saturday. While most of the crowd will take in the concert from the Lambeau lot, some spectators could spill onto Ridge and over to Titletown.

If you don't have a ticket to Luke Combs' The Middle of Somewhere Tour stops at the Resch Center on Friday and Saturday you're out of luck. Both concerts sold out quickly months ago.

Luke Combs

When/where: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Resch Center, Ashwaubenon.

What's going on: The Country Music Association's reigning Entertainer of the Year sold out the back-to-back shows on his The Middle of Somewhere Tour quicker than you can sing "longneck, ice cold beer never broke my heart." The in-the-round shows will rival the crowd size of Eric Church's two sellout shows in March, with 8,000 to 10,000 fans expected each night.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers hinted on Tuesday's "The Pat McAfee Show" he may be there. McAfee asked him about his plans for the rest of the week. Rodgers mentioned dinner on Thursday with offensive line players and said, "On Friday, I believe there's some sort of concert in town." When Rodgers said he couldn't remember the act, someone from the show confirmed it was Combs at the Resch Center.

Insider tip: Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to allow plenty of time to get through security lines in advance of opening acts Jordan Davis and Morgan Wade. Those with tickets for Saturday's concert can expect additional traffic and parking congestion from the Train concert at 5 p.m. nearby at Lambeau Field.

Remember, only small clear plastic bags no bigger than 12 inches by 12 inches or non-clear wristlets that are 4½ by 6½ inches or smaller are allowed in.

Washington Street Block Party: Tailgate Edition

When/where: Noon-3 p.m. Sunday on South Washington Street in downtown Green Bay.

What’s going on: Downtown grabs a slice of the action with a pre-pregame party that takes the music and food out to the street. The big draw is reunion show by Shaker and the Egg, the popular swing/funk band that called it quits in 2014 but still does the occasional reunion show, always drawing a crowd.

The Preble High School Drumline will also perform. Bars and restaurants along the street, which will be closed to traffic, will have food and drink specials. There will be food trucks, too. Downtown Green Bay Inc. put out a call last month for customized tailgating vehicles to reserve parking spots along the street, so expect to see some sweet green-and-gold rides.

Insider tip: Fans can easily bounce from the festivities downtown to the main tailgating event over by Lambeau Field by grabbing a ride on one of Green Bay Metro’s Game Day routes. The free rides run from 3:30 to 7:10 p.m. and 10:15 to 11:45 p.m. Sunday. Check out the Cheesehead, Quarterback, Quick Slant and Lambeau Leap routes at

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The Broadway District hosts an igNight Market from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, with a headlining concert by Wisconsin alt-pop group The Astronomers.

igNight Market

When/where: 5-10 p.m. Saturday on Broadway between Walnut and Howard streets in the Broadway District of downtown Green Bay.

What’s going on: The roving open-air night market lands at a different location in the Broadway District each month, with an eclectic mix of local artisans, musicians and food trucks bringing to life an underutilized street under the night sky and strings of lights. igNight Markets come with a vibe that is distinctly their own. There’s only one more on the calendar (5-9 p.m. Oct. 15 under the Mason Street bridge) after this weekend’s edition.

Insider tip: Make sure you catch headliners The Astronomers from 8:30 to 10 p.m. Fond du Lac natives Michael Stensland and Ben Baker formed the alt-pop band in 2019 and have been on a steady climb ever since. They've racked up 245,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, and their hit single, “Overthinking,” which went to No. 1 on WIXX-FM's "Top 9 at 9," has more than 1.8 million streams.

If you missed them at Mile of Music or the Titletown District this summer, here's your chance. Tedius & Brief (5-6:15 p.m.) and Klassik (6:45-8 p.m.) open.

It's the 16th year for the Lorelei Inn's annual Oktoberfest celebration. Bands play and beer gets poured under the tents on Friday night and Saturday in Allouez.


When/where: Gates open at 4 p.m. Friday and 1:30 p.m. Saturday outside the Lorelei Inn, 1412 S. Webster Ave., Allouez.

What’s going on: People in Packers jerseys eating bratwursts will be impossible to miss this weekend, but if you’re looking to don your lederhosen and enjoy an authentic German knackwurst, you’ll want to head to the Lorelei Inn for that. The bar and restaurant’s 16th annual Oktoberfest boasts two packed tents, polkas, three beer trucks with an extensive lineup of fall brews from near and far, and all kinds of German eats.

The music lineup remains unchanged from year to year: The Cougars from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday; The Greatest Hits Polka Band from 2 to 5 p.m. and Big Mouth & The Power Tool Horns from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., both on Saturday.

Admission is a $5 suggested donation, with proceeds going back to organizations in the community. The Lorelei is that rarity in Green Bay — a Chicago Bears bar — but the inside will be closed during Oktoberfest to concentrate on the festivities outside.

Insider tip: Try the homemade Oktoberfest soup, a creamy concoction with vinegar, dill, sausage, potatoes, carrots and sauerkraut that has a diehard following all its own.

Hunter Hayes performs July 16 during the Titletown Beats concert series in the Green Bay Packers' Titletown District in Ashwaubenon.

Titletown Gameday Live

When/where: 3:20-7:20 p.m. Sunday at Titletown District, across from Lambeau Field.

What’s going on: There’s always plenty to do at Titletown, but on home Packers weekends, the four hours prior to kickoff come with extra fun. Fans headed to the game can grab food and drink, check out live mural painting and listen to music by the Smoke Road Band from 3:20 to 6:20 p.m. on the Plaza Stage.

Parking in the Titletown parking lot is paid in the four hours before kickoff. No tailgating in the lot and no carry-ins in the Titletown District.

Insider tip: Bears fans looking for a taste of home can check out Fond du Lac-based Ang an Eddie’s’ take on Chicago-style pizza from their food truck. Steel Belly Barbecue will also be serving.

What else?

Oktoberfest Food Truck Rally and fireworks: 4:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday at Ashwaubomay Park, Ashwaubenon. Food trucks, music by Copper Box and Ashwaubenon's 25-minute sesquicentennial fireworks display that was postponed in August due to rain is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. 

Jimmie Allen: 7:30 p.m. Friday at EPIC Event Center, Ashwaubenon. It's a tall order going up against a sold-out Combs concert on the same night just a few blocks away, but the CMA's New Artist of the Year has loads of accolades and a setlist that includes "Makes Me Want To," "Down Home" and "Freedom Was a Highway" on his side. Tickets at

Walk for Wildlife: 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary. Annual fundraiser to support rehabilitation of the 6,000 injured or orphaned animals brought to the sanctuary each year. A 2½-mile family walk with music, animal ambassadors and bird of prey release. More info or to register: 920-391-3683 or

Steps for Pets: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Meadowbrook Park, Howard. Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary's annual fundraiser takes people and their pets on a 1-mile trail. This year's theme is the 1970s, so you could see a border collie in bell bottoms or a terrier in tie-dye. To register:

Contact Kendra Meinert at 920-431-8347 or Follow her on Twitter @KendraMeinert