Take me out to the ballgame. Take me out to Miller Park.

Springtime means baseball, and there’s no better way to kick off the new season than by taking your friends and family along for La Crosse Area Day when the Coulee Region gathers to root on the Milwaukee Brewers as they take on the San Francisco Giants.

So buy me those peanuts and Cracker Jacks. And maybe get me some Dipping Dots while you are at it. And don’t forget the Cotton Candy. Let’s just accept the sugar buzz for what it is. Nothing wrong with a little ballpark food on occasion.

Here are five reasons to come along on this group bus trip on June 8:

1. This stadium is “Tink – out of the park.”

If you have never been to Miller Park, it’s time to make a trip. When Wisconsin weather is beautiful, the retractable roof is open, which allows the sun to warm your face and the breeze to cool your skin. When rain is eminent, the roof is closed to save you from sitting in damp or drenched clothing. Garbage bags are no longer necessary to keep you dry at Wisconsin’s professional ballpark. And technology today is wonderful — it only takes about 15 minutes to close the roof if it’s open.

2. One word: Tailgating. 

Part of the required Brewer game experience involves tailgating in the parking lot before the game. Grilled food and tasty beverages are the norm, as is people watching, and walking around to chat with other fans. Sometimes there are official Brewer-related groups giving away freebies in the parking lot. We got free Klement’s sausages once. Other times, you might run into someone you know. Just hope that it’s not your boss if you called in sick to attend the game.

3. Some carry-ins are allowed. 

Let’s be honest here – the food and drinks for sale at many professional sporting events can break the bank. Yes, there are traditional tasty options and an occasional splurge is good for the soul, but there is a little known fact about Miller Park — you are allowed to bring in unopened soda, water or juice, along with your favorite snacks, in any bag or soft-sided cooler that is 16” x 16” x 8” or smaller. No hard-sided coolers are allowed, and nothing can be brought into the Suites, but really, if you are watching the game from a Suite you can probably afford to buy the food there anyway.

4. Who’s your favorite?  

Cheering on preferred players is encouraged, no matter if it’s someone like No. 8, Ryan Braun, who has been playing with the Brewers for 10 years now, or a more recent addition like Jesus Aguilar, No. 24. Fans are allowed to keep any baseballs that enter the seating area, so you may even be lucky enough to get a baseball hit by one of your favorites. Make sure to pack that old baseball glove just in case one comes your way.

5. Racing sausages and other contests. 

Like most sporting events nowadays, watching a Brewers game has become much more than just watching a Brewers game. There are the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages to cheer on as they race along the sidelines; there is a sign-making station where kids can make their own signs to wave; there are promotional giveaways and even a play area (Bernie’s Clubhouse) for those kids who cannot be contained. Entertainment is practically guaranteed.

To learn more about La Crosse Area Day, visit the La Crosse Area Day website at http://www.explorelacrosse.com/lacrosseareaday/.