When you’re around something every day you don’t really notice as slight changes happen. It’s because of that I always find myself surprised when people come back to town saying, ‘Wow, Starkville has changed so much!’ On the surface, it looks the same to me as it did a year ago, but when I start going through all the new businesses, construction and assorted whosits and whatsits, I realize it really has changed.
Just last weekend, I was talking to a friend who moved away two months ago and was amazed at how much has already happened just since then. And there’s even more coming.
Any way, the point of all this is that we’ve compiled a list of things to know for the first football weekend at Mississippi State since last November. Some of it you know, some of it perhaps not. Some of it is new and some just a reminder. And some of it is just recommendations from deep within my heart and/or stomach.
As always, my highest recommendation is to visit hailstate.com/gameday for all the information you could need on parking, maps, times, tailgating and the like.
- BULLDOG BASH TIMELINE
2:00: C-Spire Maroon Market opens
3:00: Cornhole Tournament
6:15: Dawg Rally
7:00: Chasing Edom on Clark Beverage Main Stage
9:00: Mister Wives
10:30: Local Natives
- OFF-CAMPUS CONSTRUCTION AND PARKING
If you park off campus, it should be noted that the grass areas in front of and across the street from The Mill are no longer available for parking due to construction and the opening of The Mill (hey, that happened, too!), but there is now some new parking, including a multi-story parking deck, on the back side of The Mill and the Courtyard being built beside it.
Also, I don’t know what happened, but avoid North Nash St. at all costs. I assume the city had good for reason for the construction done on the portion of Nash between University Drive and Highway 82 (making it safer for children and families is my guess) but it didn’t help the traffic on a street already somewhat difficult to navigate. I have a certain level of trouble getting through on random Tuesday afternoons and I imagine it will be borderline impassable on a game weekend, especially with Bulldog Bash. If that’s how you get into or out of the Cotton District and campus areas, take Herbert Street or Old West Point Road instead.
Oh, and if you need a ride to the game from wherever you park, there is a full listing of shuttle pick-up and drop-off locations on the gameday website. Take advantage.
- CASUAL AND FINE DINING
As it stands now, the weather this weekend is supposed to be what we in the business call “perfect.” Writing this ensures that it will rain all weekend instead, but if the forecast holds, then you’re going to want to spend some time outside beyond the game and Bulldog Bash. There is plenty of outdoor seating at restaurants in towns, but my sincere recommendations go out to both the patios and the menus at The Veranda, Harvey’s and The Grill.
My favorite patio in Starkville – and what I’m guessing is the biggest – is at Bin 612 in the Cotton District. They’ve got a wealth of seating out back and in the front where you can watch all the action happen around you. If you want to go to Bulldog Bash but don’t want to stand all night, I often like to get to Bin 612 early in the day, find a table and eat chicken nachos and pizzas as the events unfold.
If new music isn’t your thing but you’d still like to hear a live band, ‘80s cover band The Molly Ringwalds will be playing at DawgHouse Sports Grill on Main Street Friday night. I recommend the dipping trio and the quesadillas just as much as I recommend The Molly Ringwalds.
Oh, and on Sunday, make sure to get downtown for Bulldog Brunch and Browse as put on by the Starkville Convention and Visitors Bureau. The French Waffle at Restaurant Tyler is among my favorite breakfast items in this galaxy.
Lastly, for the students: you can now use your flex dollars on your meal plan to buy concessions in the north endzone. Neat deal.
- PRE-GAME TIMES TO KNOW, WHAT TO WEAR
OK, the first thing here isn’t a time, but this is the best category for it to fit under. Saturday is a White Out, which is nice to have so early in the year. Polo, T-shirt or – GASP – jacket? Whatever you wear, shoot for white. It looks great on TV at night.
Now, a quick rundown of events around the stadium Saturday.
4:00 p.m.: Roads close
5:15: C-Spire Fan Zone opens
6:00: Davis Wade Stadium opens
6:15: Dawg Walk begins in The Junction
8:15: Team entrance/new entrance video debuts (don’t miss this)
- HANDHELD AND SOCIAL MEDIA INFORMATION
To start with some bigger news here, MSU released its brand new gameday app today. I got a chance to preview it last week and it’s fantastic. Great for keeping up with scores around the conference and seeing what’s happening on campus. As the release describes it, “the app will provide fans with live stats, play-by-play, and scores from around the top 25 and the Southeastern Conference, along with stadium and campus maps that will provide real-time parking and traffic updates.”
Just search for “Mississippi State Game Day” on your phone.
On game days, the dissemination of information is constant. Often, things change and social media is the easiest way to find out. First, a list of gameday-related follows for pre and post-game on Twitter. Secondly, a list of in-game follows for game-related info. These accounts will get you everything from traffic updates to passing yard totals.