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The Skinny on Ole Miss Gameday Part 2: The Grove


There’s only one rule on Ole Miss gameday: Though we may not win every game, we’ve never lost a party. There’s no hanging our head if we fall short on the field, guys. We make the most of our treasured fall football Saturdays, win or lose. The Grove is the center of the gameday experience – you just have to see it to believe it! This gorgeous 13 acres of oak trees and meticulously manicured landscaping is a sacred ground on the campus of The University of Mississippi. During the summers and school days, students studying on a bench and local Oxonians (often with their children) enjoying a picnic on the lush green grass.

On Saturdays, the Grove turns into a sea of red and blue tents, tables of delicious food, and thousands of loyal Rebel fans (as well as fans of the opposing team, I assume.) We’ve put our heads together and have a few tips for you in regards to “Groving” (Tidbit: this is the term used at Ole Miss in lieu of “Tailgating.”)

Unspoken rules of the Grove

People spend months (and insane amounts of money) planning for “Grove Season” – known to the rest of the country as “Football Season”. Groups of 4- 40, and sometimes more, gather their ideas/recipes/Grove gear (tents/tables/chairs)/decor (tablecloths to chandeliers – yes, I said chandeliers) to put together some of the most remarkable ‘tailgating’ situations you have ever seen. Therefore, it’s only right that you respect the efforts of these folks by adhering to these four simple rules:

  1. You are truly welcome at any tent. Seems awkward to read that, but Mississippi isn’t known as the hospitality state for nothing. There is nothing more fun than welcoming a new person to the Grove and showing you the ropes.

  2. Don’t come empty handed: You might not officially "belong" to a tent group, but that doesn’t mean you show up with only your purse and fan. These tents cost hundreds to thousands of dollars each week and it's nice to show your gratitude. Do pack your own small cooler with at least a couple of beverages of your choice, if not a small container of dip or a batch of cookies to offer whatever tent you end up spending the most time visiting. (NOTE: you can’t take coolers into the stadium, so either plan to return it to your car before the game, or ask tent host if it’s okay to store under a table at their tent. PS to the note: Grove rules are here, but most notables University Police do have the right to dump coolers, left unattended. While they don’t get every cooler, it has been known to regularly happen.)

  3. Put it in a cup! No matter what the law says. as odd as it is that Ole Miss is “damp” for