Tips, traditions and advice from an Ole Miss insider on the best way to tailgate at a Rebels game this college football season.
Kirk Purdom, a former baseball player at Ole Miss and the current executive director of Alumni Affairs, shares insider information on what he calls “the best gameday experience in America.”
Where should people park? To park on campus you have to have a parking pass, but there are various organizations that allow parking, like local churches and schools in the area. Places like Oxford High and FNC Park, which is a baseball facility, allow you to park at rate of about $20 per vehicle. They also have a shuttle service that takes you straight to the stadium.
How should fans dress? There is no real formal dress code. You’ll see a variety of clothes, but most of the time people wear what is comfortable for them. If it’s hot you’ll see people in khaki shorts and a golf polo. It is more formal than most gamedays, so people will at least be wearing collared shirts. The college students tend to dress up more, so the women will be wearing dresses and the men will normally wear a jacket and tie.
Can you explain “The Grove”? The Grove is a grassy area on campus, where most of the fans do their tailgating. Most people pay vendors to store their tents and all their tailgating equipment, and at 7 p.m. every Friday before gameday all the vendors set up the hundreds of spots people have staked out. You’ll have a wide variety of tents that they set up. You’ll have anywhere from small simple ones to really elaborate ones with TVs and satellites and even chandeliers. It’s basically organized chaos. It’s really incredible to see.
What tradition sets Ole Miss apart? At Ole Miss we do what is called the walk of champions, where the players walk down through The Grove to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. All the fans form a tunnel for the players to walk through a couple hours before the game. This season they have added to the walk and it will go through “The Letterwinner Walk” just outside the stadium. The team will walk through a series of pillars recognizing all of the letter winners at Ole Miss in every sport. If you’re a college football fan it should definitely be on your bucket list.