DALLAS -- They came by car, airplane and even a large recreational vehicle from places like Florida, Utah and all over Wisconsin.
Yes, the out-of-town Green Bay Packers fans finally were making their presence felt Thursday throughout the North Texas region hosting Super Bowl XLV. From downtown Fort Worth's Sundance Square to watch ESPN broadcasts to Addison and southwest Fort Worth for the sixth annual National Football League Charities Super Bowl Celebrity Bowling Classic, the Green and Gold was standing out.
Brian and Kelly Pinter from Colgate, Wis., were among the first to arrive.
"We originally were coming Wednesday but when we saw that storm coming to Texas we said we've got to get out early or we'd be stranded," Kelly said. "So we were able to arrange an flight on Monday on a Frontier Airlines plane."
Like so many others, once the Packers made the Super Bowl, the Pinters were on the event's website to learn about the week's various festivities. That's how they found Tuesday's charity bowling event at 300 Bowl. It didn't hurt that both are avid bowlers.
Earlier that day, the Pinters toured Cowboys Stadium.
"We loved it," Brian said. "It was impressive. We had a tour guide who took us everywhere. And the Packers were doing their punting and placekicking on the field. That was cool."
The couple visited the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame in Arlington the next day and were scheduled to attend a concert featuring Kid Rock and Duran Duran at night. They planned to tour Fort Worth on Friday and the NFL Experience on Saturday in advance of the big game.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation," Kelly said.
"And we've got great seats," Brian added.
Scott and Sonya Biemeret used the old-fashioned way to get to Texas by driving 17½ straight through from Green Bay. Sonya, a Texas native whose parents live northwest of Dallas, met her Wisconsin husband at a Dallas-Fort Worth bike rally five years ago.
"I love the area," said Scott, who is part of a group of five Packers season-ticket holders. "I really enjoy the downtown Fort Worth area. The people here are nice and friendly. Fort Worth is like Milwaukee with a lot of older buildings."
Dressed to the hilt in Packer garb and carrying a team flag, the Biemeret's have spent much of their time in the ESPN audience. On Thursday, that meant braving temperatures in the 20s and wind chills in single digits. North Texas was hit with an ice storm on Tuesday, then added about six inches of snow on Friday.
As of Thursday, the Biemeret's did not have game tickets. If they don't secure some by Sunday, they'll watch the game at Sonya's parents house.
"If I'm not around Packers fans, I don't want to be around them," Brian said.
A group of Packers fans originally from Wisconsin have maintained their allegiance since moving to Florida even calling their group Lambeau South.
"It's the Packers. We don't want to miss out," said Don Schmeltzer, formerly of Madison. "It could be the last Super Bowl I get to go to."
Fellow group member and Greenfield native Gary LaFond went so far as to build a special Packer room at his house where the friends gather during Packers games. Schmeltzer said the room has outgrown itself and may need to be expanded.
"We're trying to get tickets but want to determine who is legit and who isn't," Schmeltzer said. He added the group tries to get to one Packers game a year either in Florida or somewhere else.
Like the Floridians, Marv and Kathleen Stoddard also do most of their cheering from afar. But unlike the others, the Salt Lake City residents have no other ties to Wisconsin.
"One of the first games I remember watching was the Ice Bowl," Marv said. "I've been a Packers fan ever since."
"I like the fact they are owned by the fans," Kathleen added.
The couple has visited Lambeau Field three times including the Jan. 2 game against the Chicago Bears.
"It's a great place to watch a game," Marv said.
The Stoddards competed in the charity bowling event Thursday night at Main Event in Fort Worth with two friends who ironically are avid Pittsburgh Steelers fans.
Kathleen attended the University of Utah with Dave Klanica, a Pittsburgh native now living in New Orleans. Klanica's friend and Pittsburgh resident Dan Kupas rounded out the bowling team.
"She married into the Packers but we won't hold that against her," Klanica said.
There's no doubt who the owners of Miesfeld Triangle Market are supporting. The Sheboygan, Wis., business displayed its affection for the Packers on what it calls the Packer RV. It left Wisconsin on Monday but because of weather troubles in places like Oklahoma, it didn't arrive in Texas until Thursday when it spent time cruising near the ESPN set.
The van was packed with Miesfeld's bratwurst and sausage and Sheboygan hard rolls. On the front of the van are the words "meat us at the game."
Sounds like something fans of both teams can enjoy.