As the day wears on, the crowds at the Southern Heritage Classic tailgate get bigger and bigger and more and more joyful. Many people have a really good time without ever going inside the Liberty Bowl.
Tiger Lane is named for the University of Memphis Tigers, but by an odd coincidence, the Southern Heritage Classic pits the Jackson State Tigers against the Tennessee State Tigers, so it’s appropriately named for the event. The gates open to tailgaters at 8 AM on game day, and the place becomes something like a small city, with tents, stages and recreational vehicles everywhere, and the sounds of music and the smells of barbecue drifting over the whole area. Many of the parties hire DJ’s for their day of fun, and every once in a while, a tent will have a live band. And although this year’s weather was hot, there were plenty of vendors with things like Italian ice or snow-cones to cool you off.
Tailgating is a big part of the Grambling homecoming game day experience, and the party is full effect, complete with barbecue grills and DJ’s. All kinds of radio stations and businesses also turn out to party and promote their business or products.