On August 15 Southern Living’s launched its first annual The South’s Best Tailgate competition to officially determine which school has the region’s ultimate pre-game celebration. Over 510,000 votes were cast and last week we revealed that Alabama clinched 3rd Place. Today we’re back to announce that 2nd Place goes to none other than the University of Mississippi.
Ole Miss, whose tailgating is featured in our new GAC television special, initially made our pre-season list of Top 20 Tailgate Schools thanks to its renowned game day spreads. With chandeliers and candelabras, Ole Miss sets the bar high (and with fresh flowers) for upscale tailgating. In recognition of the Rebels’ stellar performance in our inaugural tailgate competition we’re sharing our Top 5 Favorite Ole Miss Traditions:
1. The Grove is prime real estate. The legendary epicenter of Ole Miss tailgating is The Grove, a sprawling 10-acres in the heart of Oxford shaded by picturesque oaks, elms and magnolias. So coveted are spots in there that when the grounds officially open for tailgate set-up (9pm the Friday before each home game) you’ll witness a red and blue frenzy as fans scramble to stake their claim. For the full-effect check out this nifty time lapse video that captures a game day weekend at The Grove.
2. They pull out their Sunday Best one day early. The only thing more decked out than an Ole Miss tailgate tent is, well, the fans. From blazers with bow ties to sundresses with pearls the Rebels’ enforce a strict dress code on game day: high style.
3. The team is part of the tailgate. The highlight of each Ole Miss tailgate is arguably the “Walk of Champions,” where the football players and coaches make their way through The Grove’s spirited crowd en route to the stadium.
4. Southern hospitality reigns. Ole Miss football prowess may be up and down season to season but one constant remains–great tailgating. (In fact, on any given game day you may just find a few fans with tickets in hand who decide to forgo the game in favor of four-quarters of tailgating.) The emphasis on the party means that the opposing team, or heck, anyone looking for a good time, is always welcome under a Rebel’s tent–and welcome to stay for a second helping of Mississippi Mud Cake.
5. They are always, and we mean always, ready for a cheer. The soundtrack for any Ole Miss tailgate are countless shouts of “Are You Ready?” followed by a resounding chant of Ole Miss’s signature cheer, “Hotty Toddy.”
Congrats to the Ole Miss for taking 2nd Place in The South’s Best Tailgate. That calls for a rousing rendition of Hotty Toddy. Are you ready?
Be sure to check back next Monday, October 15 when we’ll officially reveal the winner of The South’s Best Tailgate.