Oxford beyond the sidelines

By Merrill Robbins

Crowd on the Square during Double Decker in Spring 2014.

Crowd on the Square during Double Decker in Spring 2014.

The sun is setting and the breeze is blowing as you’re walking on the Courthouse Square in Oxford.

Typically, most Southerners know that when this happens, it’s the fall season, and summer is officially over. For the people of Oxford, and most of the college town in the Southeastern conference, the fall accompanies football games, tailgates, and good tunes are always playing through a stereo.

Many people come to Oxford for the culture that the town and the university offers tourists. What appeals to these tourists is that Oxford doesn’t have one stereotype, and they are often wondering how the diversity is managed.

“What I love about Oxford is that you can go into the Blind Pig Pub on the Square and see many different types of people,” said Grace Ayer, a senior at Ole Miss and barista at High Point Coffee on Jackson Ave. “The diversity in Oxford is what makes us unique from the rest of the Southeast.”

So, what makes Oxford so unique compared to the rest of the southeast?

Picture of College GameDay taken by Merrill Robinson

Picture of College GameDay taken by Merrill Robinson

Every college town in the Southeastern conference has their own special tradition that belongs to them which makes the SEC unique from the rest other conferences – whether it’s saying Roll Tide to someone in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a Friday night midnight yell at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas, or ringing a cowbell to cheer on Mississippi State bulldogs in Starkville, Mississippi.

For many Ole Miss fans, and according to Saturday Down South, the Grove is what separates Ole Miss from the rest of the conference.

To many, SEC football isn’t just an event to attend or watch on Saturday afternoons; it’s a religion. But what is a college town without football?

Beyond the sidelines at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee, the town is lively with karaoke bars on Second Street and famous musicians performing at the Grand Ole Opry, while Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is famous for having the Louisiana State Capitol and cajun food.

Oxford is heavily influenced by art and literature, which attracts people such as Pendleton Ward, the creator of Adventure Time, a cartoon series on Cartoon Network, and Nobel-prize winner William Faulkner, the creator of the fictional Yoknapatawpha County. Yoknapatawpha County was based off of Lafayette County and other North Mississippi towns.

If you’ve ever met a Southerner, then you know that eating is one of the most essential parts of their day. Oxford’s food culture has expanded since Chef John Currence moved to Oxford in 1992 and has created one of the most important aspects of Oxford’s culture. In the past 21 years, Currence has become increasingly popular among the Oxford community and has opened seven restaurants within the community.

Oxford also has a diverse music scene and many local businesses.

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