Ole Miss is unlike any other college in America. The Grove in the middle of the campus has been around for many many years and has a spark about it that keeps people coming back, even if the football team is loosing.
It’s a place where families and friends meet to have a great time. The Cassidys have been going to the Grove for 35 years. Ole Miss senior Michael Cassidy is the youngest member of his family currently at the university, and he is sure he will not be the last.
“My great aunts and uncles went here,” he said. “My parents met here, and my two brothers went here, so it’s really cool to go here now and experience it the way they did.”
The tailgating scene in the Grove began as an actual tailgate where station wagons and trucks pull into the grassy area and tailgate out of their cars. They did this for many years until cars were banned, then it became a picnic scene where people brought chairs, food and drinks to celebrate the Rebels and support the football team.
Later, the Grove turned into a multimillion-dollar business. It is a luxurious tailgating scene with people from all over. Tents in the Grove have chandeliers, rugs, gourmet food, and wide drink selections, flat screen TVs, and even generators so the tents can have power. It is an amazing sight to see, and there is never a game where the Grove is not filled with people.
The Grove incorporates families, Oxford locals, students, faculty and alumni. It has a special feel about it where families and friends join together, all for the same reason.
Every person in the Grove has traditions involving their setup, attendees, and game plans. Tents are catered by local restaurants or homemade. Tent companies come in and set up tents, tables, chairs, and anything else the tent owners desire, such as rugs, chandeliers and more.
Dewey Knight, a man who works at the University of Mississippi, said going to the Grove is a family tradition.
“This will be my 66th year coming to the Grove,” he said. “It all started with my great grandparents coming to Ole Miss and it goes all the way down to my children.”
There is really no other place like the Grove, and one has to experience it in order to understand and get the full idea of just how special it is.
Grove traditions will never fade, and they will be around for many years to come. For many families, it will continue generation after generation. In the end, it all is for the Ole Miss Rebels Football Team and the Ole Miss family.