Downtown fans

Published 10:31 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Downtown Troy will be a new spot for tailgate parties before all Troy University home games, beginning this Saturday. Photo/ Robbyn Brooks


Trojan and Bulldog supporters invited to tailgate in the city square

Downtown and football will collide this Saturday as Troy kicks off a unique gameday experience.

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The Pike County Chamber of Commerce and Troy’s Public Relations and Tourism office are teaming up with local merchants for the Downtown Troy Tailgate, an event that will continue for each Trojan home game this season.

The tailgate features free parking, a shuttle to local hotels and Veterans Memorial Stadium, live music and gameday specials at downtown businesses.

Anytime we have an opportunity to engage groups in the downtown square is excellent,” said Kathleen Sauer, chamber director. “This is an opportunity to encourage both locals and visitors to shop and dine on the square.”

And Troy Public Relations director Shelia Jackson said Trojan fans won’t be the only tailgaters downtown. A radio station that serves the Mississippi State area called to ask what Troy offered for entertainment and the DJs have been promoting the event ever since.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase our city and all we have to offer,” Jackson said.

Beginning at 11 a.m., Kane Meredith and Will Crenshaw will provide entertainment at the gazebo on the square. At 1:30 p.m., Lenny Trawick and Friends will take over.

To make maneuvering between the Downtown Troy Tailgate and the stadium more accessible, a free shuttle will begin running three hours before kick-off and will move from downtown Troy, to local motels, to the Alumni House across from the stadium and will continue that route in 15-minute intervals.

“It’s a way to include downtown Troy in gameday activities,” said Leigh Ann Windham with the Chamber.

Participating businesses are excited, too.

“I think that the square should be somewhere people gather for events,” said Tiffany DeLuca, manager of Sips on the Square. “It will help business on Saturday and provide a place to tailgate in a different setting.”

DeLuca said that Sips will be opening up earlier than usual and will offer a Trojan fruit-wine spritzer. And, customers who bring in their game ticket will get a 10 percent discount off of food purchases at Sips on Saturday.

Cotton Creek is another participating business. The new clothing store will offer discounts and specials to customers who come in donning either Mississippi State or Troy University gear.

“I couldn’t be more excited,” said Amber Michael, manager at Cotton Creek. “It will be wonderful to have lots of people visiting downtown. We have a prime and unique opportunity and I think it’s great that we can support the university and students while they support local business.”

Also at Cotton Creek on Saturday, the creators of the Waters Bluff clothing line will be at the shop to introduce a new Troy gameday T-shirt.

The public is invited to bring their own tents and chairs to tailgate on the square and the Chamber of Commerce will be open as a hospitality location with restrooms for tailgaters.

For a full list of participating stores and schedule updates, visit the Downtown Troy Tailgate Facebook event page.