By Doug Halberstadt
Typically, the best day of the year for professional football fans is the season-opener. For a large group of those fans, the second-best day of the year is the first day of training camp. The Chicago Bears opened their 2012 pre-season training camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill., Thursday, July 26.
After a full week of workouts under the sun at the college campus, the team will be returning to Chicago this Friday night (Aug. 3) for some practice under the lights at Soldier Field. In what has become a pre-season fan favorite, the Bears will once again host Family Fest at their home field.
The event is the perfect opportunity for fans to visit the stadium and watch the team practice under the lights. Practice begins at 7 p.m. Numerous activities take place outside the stadium beginning at 4 p.m. The gates to Soldier Field will open at 5 p.m. Tickets to Fan Fest are $8 each.
Highlights will include the following:
• Scratch-off prize cards distributed to the first 30,000 fans;
• A live band during pre-practice festivities;
• Kid-friendly activities and games before practice;
• Chicago Bears sponsor booths and promotional displays;
• Free giveaways (while supplies last);
• Radio station remote broadcasts;
• Fireworks show brought to you by Jewel-Osco; and
• Access to the Chicago Bears Pro Shop with the latest Bears gear and new Nike jerseys.
In addition to entertaining their legions of fans, the Bears will spend a portion of the evening preparing for their pre-season opening game against the Denver Broncos Thursday night, Aug. 9. The Bears will break camp Friday, Aug. 17, one day prior to their second pre-season game against the Washington Redskins Saturday night, Aug. 18. The other two pre-season games on their schedule are road games against the Giants Friday, Aug. 24, and they face the Browns in Cleveland Thursday, Aug. 30.
Chicago opens the 2012 regular season with a noon game at home against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Sept. 9.
From the Aug. 1-7, 2012, issue