Game Day VS. Off-Season in Oxford

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Mississippi town shines year-round

Oxford, Mississippi, located off Interstate 55 in the Mississippi Hills, makes for the perfect getaway whether your visit is themed with a tailgate and “Hotty Toddy” in the Grove on the campus of the University of Mississippi during an SEC home game day or whether your visit coincides with the football fanatic’s “off-season” and is centered more around restaurants, shopping and cultural explorations.

Game Day Experience
Touted as one of the best tailgating spots, well, ever, the pomp and circumstance surrounding an Ole Miss Rebel football game is contagious, regardless of how your colors run. Here the town’s population nearly doubles from its steady 20,000 due to the addition of the student body–and it’s no surprise greatness extends even to tailgating at Ole Miss, when considering the University’s notable alumni including John Grisham, William Faulkner, Archie and Eli Manning and many more.

Joining the party is easy when you gather supplies from the locally-owned The Grove Supply Company, a division of Katherine Beck, which features gourmet snacks, gifts, and supplies.

Make like a local and memorize this cheer for a true game day experience. First appearing in print in 1926, the Ole Miss cheer is the only proper response to the question, “Are you ready?”

Are You Ready?
Hell Yeah! Damn Right!
Hotty Toddy, Gosh Almighty,
Who The Hell Are We? Hey!
Flim Flam, Bim Bam
Ole Miss By Damn!

Bring home a win with this must-try tailgating recipe.

Black-Eyed Pea Dip


2 cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 small or 1/2 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
4 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp. organic cane sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Toss to combine black-eyed peas, tomato, red onion, pepper, jalapeno, and green onion in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve sugar in vinegar. Whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour dressing over bean mixture. Toss to coat. Stir in cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve (the longer it sits the better the flavor will be).

Off-Season Escape

So, what is on the must-experience list if visiting Oxford during the off-season? Try these top five picks for entertainment:

  1. Eat! When the game day crowds are away, it’s the best time to savor a bite at Oxford’s numerous top-rated eateries. Experience little to no wait at favorite restaurants, including the smaller locales around the square. Also, check out the new places: Chicken Salad Chick, Coyote Blues, El Agave, Oxford Burger Company, Tallahatchie Gourmet and Mugshots.
  1. Visit Rowan Oak and the University Museum, attractions that are sometimes overlooked when a getaway to Oxford is consumed with the to-dos of attending an SEC sporting event. Take time to delve into the cultural aspects of Oxford that make this city a Southern gem.
  1. Take a stroll around the Square or let the kids play at Avent Park, a replica of the square located at 104 Park Drive. Feel like a local when you and your family take the time to play together in this neighborhood park which includes four recently renovated lighted tennis courts, a picnic pavilion, walking trail, baseball field, playground and quiet areas.
  1. Check calendar for community events that usually take place more commonly during the off-season, such as Summer Sunset Series concerts in the Grove or Movies in the Park.
  1. Enjoy no-fuss parking and less traffic. Visiting during the off-season means Oxford’s streets are not overwhelmed and it’s easy to get where you want to be, whether that’s your favorite coffee shop, boutique or restaurant.

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