Football season is among us here in Athens, Ga. and Bulldog pride is in the air!
Saturdays in Athens, Ga. are an unrivaled experience! Many might say waking up on game day is like Christmas morning, and who am I to argue that! On home game weekends, the entire city is alive and the energy is truly contagious. The town turns into a sea of red and black as 92,000 people pack into the one and only Sanford Stadium located right in the middle of UGA's campus. Bulldog fans are some of the most spirited fans in the country. We bleed red and black!
While cheering on the dawgs is certainly the main event of the day, Saturdays in Athens would not be complete without a Georgia Bulldog tailgate! Tailgating has become a college football pastime and Athens is one of the best spots to experience a real SEC tailgate. Starting at the crack of dawn and lasting all the way until minutes before kick-off, tailgating is more than a tradition here in the South: it is a way of life.
Delicious foods, flat screen TVs, corn hole games, and endless beverages make it easy to spend hours outside in the Georgia heat. With menus featuring everything from hot dogs and hamburgers to upscale appetizers and desserts, tailgaters never go hungry. Since every tailgater has his or her signature game day dish, it is common for tailgating groups to share their tasty treats in a pot-luck style feast.
Since the secret is out on Saturdays in Athens, parking and tailgating spots are in limited supply around campus. So if you want to experience game day down South, I recommend arriving early... but not TOO early. Tailgaters cannot set up camp on UGA's campus until 7 a.m. Additionally, recent changes to the rules regarding North Campus tailgates have led many fans with tents, grills, and generators to relocate to other spots around campus. Myers Quad, East Campus Road along the railroad tracks, and the areas surrounding Stegeman Coliseum are now popular locations for devoted tailgaters.
Find other tailgating options on our UGA tailgating page.
While many students and alumni choose to set up tents, TVs, grills, and games on grassy patches around campus, a number of undergrads choose to tailgate at one of the 26 fraternity houses located on and near Milledge Ave. Catered food and drinks, bands, and corn hole make these tailgating spots popular among the college Bulldog crowd.
As you spend the day chowing down on delicious treats and preparing for a big Bulldog win, don't forget important rules and regulations: while legal and responsible alcohol consumption is allowed on campus, Athens Clarke County open container laws do still apply!
The days are long and the sun is scorching -- especially early in the season -- so make sure to pack sunscreen and drink lots of water! From one Georgia Bulldog to another, I wish you a happy game day and GO DAWGS!
This post, originally published on September 23, 2014, has been thoroughly updated and re-published by Tristan Otto on August 24, 2017.