What makes for a sports town? It’s not just a famed coach or a QB with swagger. It’s not even the winning record. It’s the passion of the fans that fills every corner of town. It’s that buzzing energy of a swarm of individuals who believe fervently in their team. A true sports town doesn’t earn its status based on wins or losses, but rather earns the distinction thanks to time-honored traditions and tailgates.
Starkville embraces these sports town truths like nowhere else. The sea of maroon. The clang of cowbells. The delicious pre-game snacks. Football season is a wonderful time in this special corner of Mississippi.
This season, as Starkville comes off a stellar National Championship win in baseball, Bulldog pride rings loudly. If you haven’t experienced this next-level sports town yet, here are all the reasons to make it happen this season.
In Starkville, whether you’re a diehard fan or you’re just embracing the cowbell for a weekend, tailgating is an unparalleled event. Unlike some campuses where you can get lost between city and campus happenings, there is no mistaking where the party lives here.
Two hours before the start of the game, make your way to the Junction to gather with Bulldog fans, all clamoring to check out the Dawg Walk. Football players, coaches and mascot “Bully” proudly march through the Junction to Davis Wade Stadium, and the crowd goes wild. MSU fans believe in their team with every ring of the cowbell. With some of the most hospitable fans in the SEC, you’ll always feel right at home in Davis Wade Stadium.
Small Town Charm with HUGE Energy
Part of the charm of Starkville is that some of the very best parts of town run right into the University. Campus is smack-dab in the heart of the city, so when you’re exploring, you’re just steps from Davis Wade Stadium.
The Cotton District is an absolute must—especially on gameday. This walkable neighborhood is the perfect spot to enjoy pregame food and libations at a variety of locally owned restaurants and bars. Grab a pre- or post-game bite or an adult beverage at local favorites Bulldog Burger, Boardtown Pizza & Pints, Two Brothers Smokehouse, or Commodore Bob’s. Whether you’re celebrating or commiserating, The Cotton District promises the very best vibes in the form of delicious cuisine, superb shopping, and cocktails you’ll wish you had the recipe for.
Luckily, maroon looks good on everyone, and the Cotton District and Downtown are where you’ll find a wealth of unique boutiques for everything from baseball hats, Bulldog t-shirts, to a cowbell to call your very own.
No visit to Starkville is complete without a visit to the MSU Cheese Store, which is operated by the University and serves as a teaching tool for food science and marketing students. Annual sales of these campus-made products include 48,000 pounds of the world-famous Edam cheese cannonball; 90,000 pounds of cheddar; 15,000 pounds of jalapeño cheese; and 5,000 gallons of ice cream. The MSU Cheese store is also steps from Davis Wade Stadium, so you can load up on goodies before kickoff. Pro tip: Edam cheese makes for an other-worldly grilled cheese.
A Storied Setting for the Loudest Fans in Football
Every team has its thing, and MSU’s is anything but subtle. In the cattle farming heyday of MSU, a Jersey cow wandered onto Scott field and became a good luck charm for the team, who rallied to victory. For decades, fans have embraced the legend and the tradition of ringing celebratory cowbells. Be sure to add MSU fans must have gameday accessory by getting your own cowbell while you’re in town.
From The Cotton District to The Junction, to every row of Davis Wade Stadium, and every clang of the cowbell signifies sports town excellence in Starkville! For a comfortable place to kick back and relax after all the revelry of gameday, be sure to check out our historic hotels and unique bed and breakfasts.
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