Tailgate Destination: Starkville

Clang, clang, clang, clang! Mississippi State University is the # 1 ranked team in the country. Since Mississippi State doesn’t have a national title and hasn’t been a traditionally elite program, Starkville probably hasn’t been on your list of places to tailgate. It’s time to add it. Here are the hot spots and unique traditions of your new tailgate destination: Starkville, Mississippi.

Warning: There will be cowbell

If you know anything about Bulldog fans, you know they love their cowbells. The tradition of bringing cowbells to games originates pre-WWII, but became a staple in the 1950’s. If you’re for the opposing team, then you’ll probably find it annoying – but isn’t that the point? Cowbells are the ‘thing’ at Mississippi State. It’s a student tradition that can only be seen (and heard) in Davis Wade Stadium.

Friday Night in Starkville

The city of Starkville wants you to have a good time. Every weekend of the fall, there’s something going on downtown. Wine tasting, pep rally, block parties, trick-or-treating, Homecoming parade, even a Christmas Open House. After you choose the game you’re attending, look up the Friday night events and see what’s happening. If it doesn’t strike your fancy, then there’s always the college bar scene.


Can you think of a more appropriate name for a college bar? Nachos, pickles, wings, burgers, signature drinks – everything you’ve come to expect at a local favorite. STAGerIN also has some fun, new things for the tailgate traveler. If you’re in town on Tuesday, there’s a game called “Flip Your Bartender,” where you flip a coin and if you’re correct, your drink is free. That’s a 50% chance you’ll drink for free! With specials like this, if you didn’t stagger in, you may stagger out.

Game Day in Starkville

Once you’ve prepared for the cowbells and have gotten a taste of the local scene, it’s time for game day festivities. The hot spot to tailgate is called The Junction. It’s a grassy park just south of the stadium – prime tailgating real estate. After you set up your tent and fire up the grill, take time to watch the Dog Walk. 3 hours before kickoff, the Mississippi State players and coaching staff walks through the junction to the sounds of the Maroon Band into the stadium. There’s nothing like the energy surrounding thousands of screaming fans – especially when they have cowbells.

There it is, folks. Why you should add Starkvegas to your tailgate destination list and what you should check out when you get there. What are your favorite bars and restaurants around Mississippi State? Join the conversation in our forum and let us know where you like to go in Starkville!

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