A Tradition Interrupted: Packers Fence painters take a year off

Green Bay Nation

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — On the streets surrounding Lambeau Field, fences have long been converted into murals, celebrating the Green and Gold.

“You see all the history in the field, but then these all bring a whole new history,” Krystal Conley, a fan from Appleton said. “It just brings all of the fans together, it;s awesome.”

It’s a living history lesson, lining the streets surrounding Lambeau Field.

“Then they change them every year, it’s kind of cool seeing all of the artwork,” Conley said.

This year, those changes are not coming.

The original Packers Fence, located across from the field along Lombardi Avenue, is taking a year off due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Traditionally, the fence is painted by a group of fans, coming together to ring in the season on Labor Day.

“That’s what everybody comes here for,” Chris Handler, the ‘Packers Fence Painter’ said, “to see the fence, to see what’s on it, to have a great time, to have a beer and a brat. That’s what Green Bay’s all about.”

Handler has had a lifelong passion for the Packers and fences.

“I used to hop the fence to get into the game and watch the third and fourth quarter for free. It was a blast,” he told Local 5 Monday afternoon.

Over the years, Handler’s been commissioned to paint three of the fences along Lombardi Avenue several times.

“I usually do it the home opening game here in Green Bay, so that Saturday before the home opening game,” he explained.

He hasn’t given up on this season yet.

“If anybody’s out there that wants to have a fence in their backyard, I’m willing to paint it and build it and pay for it all,” Handler offered.

He’s willing to fund the project out of love for the Green and Gold.

“You have to create something new to keep the fan base going,” he said.

He’s not exactly sure what saying he’d choose if commissioned to paint a fence, but he thinks it should reflect on what’s happened so far in 2020.

“[A] Portrayal of some kind of slogan with what’s going on here in the world, something football related,” Handler said.

Anyone with property around Lambeau Field who is interested in a fence mural commissioned by Handler can email thepackerfencepainter@gmail.com for more information.

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