Family Fest brings football and more

The Steelers are bringing training camp to Heinz Field tonight, with the team's first-ever Family Fest.

And while practice is 100 percent the highlight of the night, the activities ahead of time are setting the scene for a fun-filled event.

The biggest attraction is always the six Super Bowl Trophies, on display on the Fed Ex Great Hall stage for photo opportunities.

Fans have the opportunity to meet Steelers Alumni who participated on one or more of the six Super Bowl winning teams in the Ford Fan Zone:

5:30 – 6:30 – Super Bowl IX and X Champions, Frenchy Fuqua and Franco Harris.
6:30 – 7:30 – Super Bowl XIII and XIV Champions, Jon Kolb and Rocky Bleier.
7:30 – 8:30 – Super Bowl XL and XLIII Champions, Chris Hoke and Santonio Holmes

The Steelers Experience is on Art Rooney Avenue even before gates open, a place where fans enjoy fun and games before getting set for practice.

Steelers Nation Unite (SNU) have their annual awards before practice, with Merril Hoge announcing the winners. SNU members will also be rewarded throughout the evening with prizes, including the opportunity to watch practice from the sideline.

At the end of practice 90 fans, who were already selected as winners, will be brought onto the field, given the practice jersey of one of the players, and will have the opportunity to have it signed as the players leave the field.

The Hell On Wheels BMX Stunt Bike Show will be featured on the visitor's sideline pre-practice, giving fans something to keep them entertained while waiting for the players to take the field. And on top of that are Bill Camp's Famous Flying Dogs, who always put on a show catching frisbees.

Pennsylvania Special Olympians, along with their police escorts, will be recognized before practice and will greet players as they exit the tunnel for introductions. They will also take part in the Terrible Towel unfurl, along with military members.

The Pittsburgh Steeline will provide plenty of entertainment for the fans, and will lead the Parade of Champions, which includes military, police and Special Olympians, including a torch bearer, and form a tunnel for the team for introductions.

Proof that you can make anything with Lego's is on display in the Fed Ex Great Hall, where master builder Lego artist, Jason Burik from Brick Model Design brought his Lego replica of Heinz Field for fans to see.

The team is hosting 350 youth football players, who took part in the on field training before gates opened. The traditional 50/50 raffle that takes place on game day, benefits youth football programs.

The National Anthem will be performed by the 28th Infantry Division Band.

During practice Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley of the Steelers broadcast team will be joined by Merril Hoge to give fans running commentary on the practice. The three also will provide a pre-practice report to get the fans ready.

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