Mississippi Tailgating Guide: Fan-submitted football recipes from Ole Miss, Southern Miss and Mississippi State

Food, friends and fun are tailgating staples in Mississippi, and no matter what school they support, Magnolia State football fans know how to throw a party.

Donna Halford has been tailgating with her group of family and friends at the University of Mississippi for more than 20 years.

“At Ole Miss we refer to it as ‘Groving’ instead of tailgating, because most people set up in and around the Grove which is in the middle of campus,” Halford said.

Tailgating at Ole Miss can range from simple tents and food to catered meals and chandeliers.

At Mississippi State University, it can get rowdy when the cowbells start ringing. Denise Franco and Jennifer Jackson have been part of the tailgate excitement since 2007, and now three generations of their families are represented on game days. During these gatherings, Franco said tailgating festivities have also included a gender reveal party, and one year they had a seated Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings.

At Alcorn State University, Daryl Collins described tailgating at the Reservation like a family reunion.

“All your old friends who have moved off to other states come back for games and bring their families,” Collins said.

Collins said he has been tailgating for 25 years, and for the past five has been cooking for the Alcorn A-Club, which includes more than 500 members.

The Heggins family has taken tailgating to the next level at the University of Southern Mississippi donning a golf cart decked out in black and gold. It even has the school’s mascot, the Golden Eagle, showcased on both sides of the vehicle.   

“Our family was one of the first to start bringing golf carts to campus for game days,” John Heggins said, “and when it is time for the game, we pull straight up to the stadium and go in to watch the game.”

No matter your team affiliation, tailgating is all about the food. Whether on campus or watching the big game at home, enjoy these fan favorites. 


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