Tailgating Mississippi Style, Part 2

Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Southern Miss may be known for their pregame soirees, but when it’s time for gridiron action, Mississippi’s other universities score big, too. Their teams are fierce, and their tailgating manner is warm and inviting.

Visitors to any Mississippi university will want to experience Mississippi’s distinctive tailgating styles. Here are a few tips to help you tackle a football weekend in Lorman, Cleveland or Jackson.

Alcorn State University – Lorman

1. Tailgating Style

Bring your appetite. To display agricultural roots, Alcorn State University tailgates offer a huge and varied spread of Southern delicacies. Perennial tailgate favorites such as barbeque, burgers and hotdogs are common. You’ll also see spaghetti, fried fish and “junk pots,” large boiling pots of sausage, seafood, corn, chicken and other items spiced to perfection. The beautiful rural campus offers ample green space for children and adults to play.

2. What to Wear?

Purple and gold. The ubiquitous team colors extend to nearly everything for a tailgate including plates, napkins and cutlery. The accessory of choice: a purple and gold pompom. You practically can’t cheer for the Braves without one.

3. The Team Tradition

In keeping with the Braves mascot, the Tomahawk chop gesture is Alcorn’s victory cheer. Of course, you’ll hear a louder cheers in the Spinks-Casem Stadium too. Home to the Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite marching band, songs like “Brave Spirit” and “Funky Stuff” pump up the crowd. Also, don’t miss the team bursting into the stadium through the giant Alcorn inflatable.

4. The Off Campus Place to Be

If possible, save a little room for the buffet at the Old Country Store in Lorman, open each day until 4 p.m. Famous for “Mr. D’s” fried chicken, this restaurant has been featured on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” series on the Food Network.

Delta State UniversityCleveland

1. The Mascots

Delta State University’s official mascot is the Statesman and its unofficial mascot is the Fighting Okra, created in the 1980s by students with a sense of humor who thought the Statesman was not particularly frightening. To marry the two mascots, the slogan “Respect the Statesman. Fear the Okra” was born. You’ll see the slogan in a variety of places on game days.

2. What to Wear?

Casual attire and T-shirts depicting one or both of DSU’s mascots are perfectly acceptable on game days.

3. Tailgating Style

The Levee, an area on the West end of Horace L. McCool Stadium is the new spot to tailgate at DSU. The athletics department rents picnic tables to tailgating groups, who bring their own spread of food complete with lots of Southern fare, including the divine Mississippi Sin Dip. At the end of every game, win or lose, the football team gives high fives to everyone along the fence of the stadium.

4. The Off-Campus Place to Be

For a snack/meal/libation pre- or post-game, check out Hey Joe’s for burgers and craft beer or Airport Grocery for authentic Mississippi Delta hot tamales as well as barbeque. Both restaurants have a music-centric vibe.

Jackson State UniversityJackson

1. The Tradition

Five words: Sonic Boom of the South. Jackson State University’s nationally recognized marching band, paired with the Prancing J-Settes, make for a do-not-miss halftime show. Pro tip: Take your breaks during a lull in the game. There is no lull in the halftime performance.

2. What to Wear?

Blue and white rule a Jackson State game. You can’t go wrong wearing an official JSU t-shirt, preferably one proudly displaying the Tiger mascot.

3. Tailgating Style

Starting Friday night before home games, you can already smell the salivation-inducing scent of barbequed meat on huge smokers outside of Veteran’s Memorial Stadium. On Saturday, pork, chicken, sausage, steaks, ribs and even freshly fried fish are the fare of the day. To score decent parking, always arrive early to JSU games.

4. The Off-Campus Place to Be

One of Jackson’s most eclectic areas, the Fondren district offers fans shopping, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, art galleries and more all within walking distance from the stadium.