HBCU Classics are just that; classic games and tailgates you should not miss! Besides being a nice play on words, the HBCU Classics are where HBCU pride oozes from the pores of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and Black Southern Belles and Black Southern Beaus who love and appreciate the HBCU culture.
HBCU Classics are approaching quickly and we want to make sure that you don’t miss any of the battles. If you are traveling, located near Southern states, or need that HBCU spirit, then we have a list of HBCU Classics that you can attend and suggestions on ways to tailgate while you are there.
Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic & Suggestions on How to Tailgate
During Labor Day Weekend, September 3rd – September 5th , two HBCU powerhouses, Grambling State University & Tennessee State University will go head to head in the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. This weekend in Canton, Ohio, HBCU alumni, students, and tourists can view the Battle of the Bands, participate in the Classic Golf Outing and experience the Hall of Fame Tailgate Party which will include our favorite; local food vendors.
Suggestion on How To Tailgate: If You Are on Time You Are Late
Finding the perfect spot to tailgate can only be done by getting to your location early. When you arrive early, think about traffic to and from the location, closeness to the entrance of the game, and natural shade during the game. Finding the perfect spot is key for tailgating and will be done differently at every location. However, your motto of finding a place and making it home should stick with you when searching for the right spot to settle.
Southern Heritage Classic
In the second weekend of September, 9th-11th, Memphis, Tennessee will be where HBCU alums will gather. Each year, the Southern Heritage Classic becomes one of the most anticipated HBCU football classics. Since 1990, fans have gathered at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium to see Jackson State University and Tennessee State University battle for Southern Heritage Classic bragging rights. Instead of meeting on the grounds of these locations, Jackson or Nashville, Tennessee; Memphis became the best locations for both teams. Not only is it the location for the Southern Heritage Classic, this location can also become your tailgate playground for the weekend.
Suggestion on How To Tailgate: Specialize the Menu
The menu for every tailgate is important. Finger foods vs Southern Dinners are always a weighing option. Think of the location and convenience of what items you want to bring. If you enjoy finger foods over a large dinner plate, it may be important to plan ahead. Let everyone know what to bring if they need to bring anything, and make a list of the must-haves for that day in order to shop away.
Magic City Classic
The Magic City Classic is considered the largest HBCU football game in the South. This friendly battle between Alabama A&M University and Alabama State University is held annually at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. Besides being close to all Southern states, Alabama is the perfect place to travel for the entire family and a great location to enjoy football. Enjoy festivities surrounding the game including the Classic Kickoff, Magic City Classic Parade, Tailgate Party and halftime show performed by the Mighty Marching Hornets and the Marching Maroon and White. If you can expect anything from HBCU Classics, music and competition will definitely be at the forefront.
Suggestion on How To Tailgate: Prepare Before You Play
Instead of doing all the hard work at the tailgating event, prep your food items before you get there. This will require you to season the meats, prepare the infamous BBQ sauce, cut up the fruits, and slice and dice any vegetables for grilled kabobs. Coming prepared will make the cook time for all items quicker and even more quick to enjoy both the game and your delicious cooking.
Another weekend of tradition, fun and football is what can be found at the Bayou Classic. A place where fans of both Grambling State and Southern University gather is in the historic and entertaining city, New Orleans. This football classic has evolved into one of New Orleans biggest and most-anticipated sporting events and is held every Thanksgiving weekend. The Bayou Classic is a great way for the entire family to enjoy the holidays in a different state and close to our favorite, which is football. Participate in the Bayou Clash which includes a parade, a fan festival, empowerment and career seminars and of course the Battle of the Bands. Then on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 27th, both teams will join at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to go paw to paw.
Suggestion on How To Tailgate: Many Coolers for Many Reasons
Tailgating is all about the food, but tasty grill items without any drinks shouldn’t be your experience at your next tailgating event. Be mindful that drinks and meats should be placed in the same cooler. So bring out the cooler stash for your tailgating necessities. Remember to label each cooler so that everyone can enjoy it with ease.
Reunite with college friends, families, and fans at the Florida Classic in Orlando, Florida at the Camping World Stadium. Despite being a location where many tourists already travel, the Florida Classics brings football lovers and Black Southern families to witness the showdown between the Florida A&M University Rattlers and the Bethune–Cookman University Wildcats. On November 20th you and your Black Southern Beau or friends can see these two HBCUs continue to make history and battle it out for down-south bragging rights.
Suggestion on How To Tailgate: Cleaning Up Doesn’t Have to Be the Hard Part
Cleaning up is none of our absolute favorite things to do, however it has to be done. When you are tailgating many items get dirty, so we are suggesting bringing additional storage containers to better assist you in your clean up. Place all dirty items in this container while being a great host and worry about them at the end of your eventful day.
As we know, each of these HBCU football classics are weekend long events that allow for you to enjoy the HBCU atomposhere and football competition. Along with these events, tailgating will be the highlight for everyone participating. With the combination of hard hitting pads on the field and the grilling aroma near each stadium, these classics will become a must-try during your fall HBCU football Excursion Guide.