Grooving in the Grove

Johnny Neumann

Ole Miss has a unique way of tailgating that has become a way of life for some Ole Miss fans. Businessmen, students, and a variety of people come to the Grove to experience the electric atmosphere.

The Grove – 10 acres surrounded with oak, magnolia, and elm trees –  has become the traditional place to be on game day. To get away from work and the stress of everyday living, it’s a time to meet, eat and drink in a huge social gathering.

(Interview with John Mark Busby)

“I never knew anything at all about the Grove until I was a freshman at Ole Miss,” said Ole Miss fan John Mark Busby. “I knew about tailgating from partying with my friends in high school, but this was different. The atmosphere and electricity in the air on my first game day was chilling.

“People were everywhere, going from one tent to the other meeting and making new friends. Rain or shine on game day, the place to be with thousands of others is the Grove.”

Tailgating at Ole Miss has evolved over the years. At one time, fans gathered around their vehicles and opened their tailgates to party. In the mid ’90s, tailgating in the Grove changed. People partied inside their tents with TVs.

In 1998, Ole Miss Alumni established the Grove Society to make the Grove the best tailgating game day party in college football.

Busby’s friend, David Hicks, a Delta native, can’t stop taking about the Grove.

“Tents are everywhere with people in expensive clothes wearing red or blue depending on the game color,” he said. “There nothing like it. It’s the only party in town on game day.”

If you’ve never been, you’re invited.

“You have to come and enjoy game day at least once and feel and see what all the excitement is about,” Busby said.

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