Tuesday, October 30, 2012

MSU Homecoming Tailgate

We have never been on campus during the football season tailgating before (we've driven by, but never really stopped to take it all in) so we decided recently that we would go see what all the hype was. It was homecoming weekend, so things were even busier than ever. 
Too cheap to pay the $20 parking fees on campus, we decided to park in downtown Starkville and ride the buses that run especially on game day for the tailgating crowd. These buses run for three hours before kickoff and two hours after the game ends to help everyone in town join into the party. Every bus we saw going to campus was standing room only. Imagine that continuously for three hours, that's a lot of people!
The bus drop off was right by the foot ball stadium, but that wasn't our destination. Ethan is a member of the MSU chapter of the American Fisheries Society, and so he was invited to join in on their annual Homecoming tailgate party, catered by one of the most famous BBQ places in town. There was no way we were going to pass up free BBQ, so we put Erik in his stroller and headed south to Thompson Hall to get some grub. Watching the people along the way was just mind boggling. Just so you know, we got on campus three hours before kick-off, and these people had already been here for who knows how long. 
Many of the streets on campus are closed to car traffic to allow for the massive number of pedestrians. Each family/group has a canopy to hang out under, usually with all the fixin's (I'll show you what I mean in a minute).

These people staked out their spots days before this, and they're now ready to sit back and relax. Did you notice the satellite dishes? Everyone brings their HUGE big screen TVs from home and they all sit just outside the stadium to watch the game in style. 

We made our way through the crowds to our party and pigged out on BBQ'd pig. And coleslaw. And potato salad. And ice cream. And soda. It was pretty awesome. Erik was somewhat interested in the food, but more interested in the landscaping. 

If only there wasn't a formidable wall of grass between him and the water...

He just wouldn't push through the grass to get to the stream (which was okay with me). He finally figured out he could crawl underneath it, and then we decided it was time to move on before we all ended up soaked. 

After we ate, we decided to walk back through the main tailgating crowd just to get a feel for the scope of this huge tailgating party. 

We looked down this side street and saw this huge crowd of people and had to go check it out. 

Turns out the drum line was performing for the crowd, so we decided to stick around for a while. As soon as Erik heard the music he started dancing and was hooked. 

Watching the drum line. 

People EVERYWHERE! And in pretty much every possible state of drunkenness and undress there is. 

Again, this is 3 hours before the game started, but people were already forming huge lines to get into the stadium. 

Just another look at a typical set up. Generators, Satellites, Ice chests, oh my! There's actually a company here in Starkville that you can pay to come set up your gear for you. They bring in tents, tables, chairs, satellites, TVs, EVERYTHING! I bet they make a fortune!

The shuttles only run one way, and they didn't switch to go back to downtown until the beginning of the 4th quarter, and we weren't willing to stick around and try to keep Erik entertained for something like 5-6 hours to wait for the bus, so we just walked back to town. Erik chewed on everything he could get his hands on, bark, sticks, rocks, grass, etc... He was a mess by the time we got back to the car. 

Back in the car headed for home. All the fun we had, and all he wants is the camera. 

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