Candlestick Park was filled with red and gold as the 49ers Faithful came out in droves this past Saturday at the team's annual Family Day event presented by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Thousands of loyal fans came out to support their beloved team, meet the 2009 rookie class, enjoy the variety of activities setup on the playing field as well as hear a passionate speech from head coach Mike Singletary.
"I think this is exciting," Singletary said to TV49 moments after he finished a speech and Q&A session with team radio color commentator Gary Plummer. "I think it says a lot about how our fans feel about the team. They're showing a lot of love. I know going forward we're going to continue to work and do all the things we need to do to be the team that they believe we can be."
Singletary's message to the fans was the same points of emphasis he's preached to his players. It centered on the 49ers playing as a collective unit. The fans certainly appreciated the words from their head coach and gave him a loud applause at the end of his speech.
"It was encouraging," 49ers Faithful Tina Marie Davenport said. "He made it seem like it's going to be a team effort that the fans and the 49ers are all going to work together. I loved that he has a positive attitude."
Davenport came to the event for the first time by the guidance of her two sons and was thrilled to be out on the field enjoying the festivities.
"I am loving it here," she said. "I'm in heaven, this is a great experience!"
Family Day featured a number of activities for fans of all ages like Football 101 classes with Plummer, performances by the Gold Rush and Niner Noise, locker room tours, youth football games and autograph sessions with the 2009 rookie class and 49ers alumni.
"I'm thrilled [to be here] because there's my daughter over there in her little cheerleading outfit and my cousin is a Gold Rush girl and we're happy to be here to support her," 49ers Faithful Julie Morales said. "The moment you walk into the stadium it's exciting anyway, but to be on the field is even more exciting."
The 49ers rookies had similar feelings about stepping on their new playing field for the first time.
"This is my first opportunity to see Candlestick and you can feel the vibe here," rookie linebacker Scott McKillop said. "I'm excited to get out here and start playing."
McKillop and his rookie teammates also had their
first opportunity to mingle with their new supporters.
"It's a great event," rookie defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois said. "For everybody to bring their family to come meet the rookies it's a beautiful thing. Plus we have perfect weather!"
"There's a bunch of great people out here. They love their Niners and anytime we get an opportunity to meet some people and sign some stuff – it's special," McKillop added. "When I got here, a bunch of people were calling my name and they knew stuff about me. It's pretty impressive. This is kind of when you realize your dream is coming true in a way."
After interacting with players and enjoying a fun-filled day, many of the team's supporters said they were counting the days until the 2009 season kicks-off.
"It can't get here soon enough," Eduardo Guzman said while holding his two daughters dressed in 49ers cheerleader outfits. "It's a great atmosphere here and we've had a good time."