ENGLEWOOD, Colo.** – Rain couldn't dampen the spirits of fans in attendance at the inaugural Taste of the Broncos event at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Tuesday night.
Fans gathered at Mile High to sample food and drink from 30 Colorado restaurants, mingle with players and listen to live music. To cap the event, quarterback Peyton Manning and select Broncos players had the opportunity to conduct the Colorado Symphony to the tune of their alma mater's fight songs.
Sponsored by Nationwide, proceeds from the sold out event benefited the Food Bank of the Rockies.
Players served-up an ample selection of food and drink at the inaugural Taste of the Broncos benefiting the Food Bank of the Rockies Tuesday night.
"This our first event and to have it sold out our first time through and see this participation – it makes me very excited," said Kevin Peterson, Associate Vice President of Sales for Nationwide and member of the Food Bank of the Rockies.
Broncos outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware had participated in similar events before, but says it still touches him to think about the lives that are benefited by proceeds from the event.
"It's been a [touching] thing for me – giving people second chances," said Ware. "Because usually for every dollar you could feed probably three kids or three family members so, being able to raise money for a great cause and giving people second chances, making them feel like they're normal. That's what it's about - giving back."
To open the event, attendees gathered at the Noble Energy Sports Legends Mall on the south end of the stadium to walk from booth-to-booth to sample local cuisine and enjoy live music in the warm weather.
Broncos players were stationed at each booth and assisted with preparation and took the opportunity to meet and take pictures with the Broncos faithful.
Tight end Virgil Green took the opportunity to not only mingle with fans but to taste the fare and discover a new restaurant.
"I'm hoping to find a real good Mexican food [place] that I can try," said Green. "I haven't really found any good Mexican food that reminds me of California."
Rain showers quickly set in, as crowds headed to the stadium where they sampled delicious desserts from a wide array of bakeries and ice cream shops.
Following the dessert hour, fans headed out onto the field where they were entertained by the Colorado Symphony who played a variety of sports-themed scores. After their opening performance, Kansas alums cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and inside linebacker Steven Johnson conducted the symphony in a rendition of the Kansas fight song, "I'm a Jayhawk".
Following the Jayhawks came Wisconsin alum Montee Ball conducting "On Wisconsin" and another duo in Notre Dame alums safety David Bruton Jr. and tackle Ryan Harris. The Fighting Irish pair electrified the crowd with some traditional jigs in tune to Notre Dame's fight song.
"The NFL is full of experiences where you never thought you would doing what you're doing," said Harris of conducting the "Victory March". "As many times as I've sung the fight song, I never thought I would be conducting an orchestra here at Mile High. It's one of those great experiences of the NFL."
Outside linebacker Von Miller had his chance next with Texas A&M's "Aggie War Hymn".
To conclude the evening, Manning made his appearance to conduct his alma mater Tennessee's "Rocky Top". //
Broncos QB Peyton Manning leads the Colorado Symphony in Tennessee Volunteers Athletics' "Rocky Top!"
Posted by Denver Broncos on Tuesday, June 16, 2015