Traditions of Game Day in Oxford, Mississippi

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No visit to Oxford, Mississippi, located off Interstate 55 in the Mississippi Hills, is complete without a tailgate and “Hotty Toddy” in the Grove on the campus of the University of Mississippi – which was founded in 1848, preferably during an SEC home game day. 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.

Oxford embraces visitors with traditional southern hospitality during Welcome Home Weekends, the seven Ole Miss home football game weekends which include special community events for visitors and locals to enjoy the best of what Oxford has to offer, like the Double Decker Bus Tours, departing from the Visit Oxford Welcome Center at 2 p.m. the Friday afternoon before a home game, often followed by live music on the courthouse lawn from 5-7 p.m.

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).