Downtown tailgate kicks off USM away games

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Golden Eagles will hit the road this weekend for the first game of the football season, but if you're not making the trip, you can still tailgate with other Southern Miss fans in downtown at Hattiesburg's first Downtown Tailgate.

"Downtown is a scene," said HHDA director Walt Denton. "It's a great college scene, and it compliments everything else that Hattiesburg has."

Fans will set up tents along Front Street between McKenzie's on Main and Benny's Boom Boom Room starting at 3:00 Saturday afternoon.

"It's just first come, first serve, real laid back, come hang out, do whatever you want to do," said Denton.

The City of Hattiesburg has a law that alcohol cannot be served or consumed outside of a business, but the city council lifted that to allow open containers for this event.

Hattiesburg City Council restricts open containers for the tailgate to items that can be bought at a grocery story such as beer and light wine. All ABC regulations are still in effect.

"The city stepped in, and they suspended that ordinance for all the away games, so as we progress this event out, that part of it is taken care of," explained Denton.

Rock 104 will launch the tailgate with a live remote on Front Street followed by a pre-game show leading to the kickoff of the Southern Miss versus Mississippi State game at 6:30 pm. The Rock 104 game broadcast will be aired live on Front Street by C&M Music Center.

"It's the type of thinking you would associate with a top 10 college town, which we got ranked about a week ago," said Denton.

Southern Beverage Company helped the historic downtown association with getting this event going, and it is planned for every away game for the 2014 season.

Denton said the event will take place rain or shine.

Copyright 2014 WDAM. All rights reserved.