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Perfect weather makes Lansing’s first Tailgate Party a success in spite of Bears loss

Hundreds gather at Fox Pointe to watch the game together

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (September 6, 2019) – Thursday’s windless afternoon was perfect for tailgate picnics, and by 5:30pm the lot of Clock Tower Plaza was more than half full for Lansing’s first Tailgate Party. The Bears/Packers rivalry and the 100th anniversary of the NFL provided an occasion for a village-wide party, and the event brought people in from Highland, Indiana; Beecher, Lynwood, and South Holland, Illinois; and beyond—some visiting Fox Pointe for the first time.

Members of the Volak, Stanula, and Vekemans families are tailgating professionals. They arrived at Fox Pointe early enough to get a good spot and set up a deluxe picnic. (Photo: Bobbi Stanula)
Zander Frazier, 1, has become increasingly comfortable in the lawn throughout this summer at Fox Pointe. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Rafael Alvarado (left) works for Lansing Public Works, so he has spent a lot of time at Fox Pointe this summer—working. He was on vacation this week, so he took advantage of the opportunity to spend some time enjoying Fox Pointe as a resident. Rafael’s cousin Christian and daughter Isabella joined him at the Tailgating Party. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
From left: Brian Halloran, Scott Wegrzyn, Will Gurley, and Christine Dinicola enjoyed some brews together before the big game. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
A football skills competition kept the kids busy, even kids in Packers shirts. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Temperatures dipped into the 60s after sundown, and Fox Pointe attendees were glad to have reason to pull on their orange and blue sweatshirts and jackets. The center lawn was filled with fans watching the big screen, and small screens throughout the venue provided other opportunities to view the action.

Hundreds of fans filled the center lawn to watch the Bears play the Packers on the big screen. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Hundreds of fans filled the center lawn to watch the Bears play the Packers on the big screen. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
The giant screen (show here from the back) was actually a bank of smaller screens powered together. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Smaller screens throughout the venue allowed fans to check the score even while standing in line for concessions. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Halftime included introductions of the TF South High School and Highland High School varsity football teams, who will play each other on Friday, September 6, in Lansing. The winners of the kids football skills completion and 50/50 raffle were also announced.

As it became clear in the final minutes that the Bears would not recover the 10–3 gap in the score, the crowd began to disperse.

By 10:30pm, the game was over, and the lawn was nearly empty. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

The few Packers fans in the crowd enjoyed the game, while everyone enjoyed a beautiful evening in a beautiful venue.

Fox Pointe is located at 18138 Henry Street in Lansing, Illinois.

Fox Pointe is located at 18138 Henry Street in Lansing, Illinois. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


  1. Thank you for explaining how the giant TV works and the picture is awesome. I asked 20 people that night how the giant TV image works and no one knew.

    • Lansing’s Director of Communications, Ken Reynolds, explained it to me, and I thought it was really interesting!

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