April 19, 2018 11:06:21 AM
There won't be any shortage of things to do this weekend in Starkville as the city and Mississippi State University gear up for the 33rd annual Super Bulldog Weekend.
Super Bulldog Weekend is a yearly spring homecoming event, focused around the spring football scrimmage at MSU and other events around campus and in Starkville, such as the Cotton District Arts Festival.
The lead up to Super Bulldog Weekend will actually begin this evening, with the arrival of the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses in Starkville. The horses will be in Fire Station Park for a viewing that begins at 5 p.m. before making deliveries to restaurants in the Cotton District -- including Bulldog Burgers, Two Brothers, Bin 612, Drifters, Klassroom, Gringos and Fountain Bar -- beginning at 6 p.m.
Mayor Lynn Spruill, who has seen the Clydesdales in previous travels, said they are "just awesome" and she's very excited to have them visiting Starkville.
"I've been trying to encourage everyone I can to go see them because they are just incredible creatures, and you don't know what they're like until you've been up close and seen them," she said. "They're so hard to describe because they're so big, and they're so well cared for and groomed to perfection."
Super Bulldog Weekend will begin in earnest on Friday, with the Hail State Family Party to celebrate the MSU women's basketball team's second consecutive run to the NCAA Championship game. Jennifer Prather, director of tourism for The Partnership, said that event is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. on Main Street near City Hall.
Friday's events also include the annual pig cooking contest at MSU, which will begin at 8 a.m. at the Palmeiro Center, with samples available at 4 p.m.
MSU's softball team will begin a series against Florida at Nusz Park at 6p.m., and the baseball team will begin its weekend series against the University of Arkansas at 6:30 p.m. at Dudy Noble Field.
Super Bulldog Weekend will continue Saturday with the Cotton District Arts Festival, which runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Cotton District, and judging for the pig cooking contest which will run from 9 a.m. to noon, with sampling at noon in the north parking lot of the Howell building.
Softball will play again at 1 p.m. The annual Maroon/White Spring Football game is set to kickoff at 3 p.m. at Davis Wade Stadium, and baseball will continue its series at 6 p.m.
The weekend will conclude on Sunday with softball at noon and baseball at 1 p.m., weather permitting. The Partnership will also kick off its annual Restaurant Week on Sunday.
A full schedule of the weekend's events is available online at www.hailstate.com/sbw.
An anchor event
Prather said Super Bulldog Weekend has grown into one of Starkville's most recognizable events, and is set for another strong showing this year.
"I think it's one of the most well-known weekends that Starkville is known for," Prather said. "Any time you can bring an additional 30,000 people to town, it's a great opportunity in our community. We're fortunate that it has the recognition that it does.
"We offer a great lineup of events in the spring, but I think people look to this one because there are so many things offered," she continued. "There are so many different things, not just athletics, but they can also experience the arts as well."
Spruill said Super Bulldog Weekend has become an anchor event for the spring.
"It sets off our spring, into our summer," she said. "It's really something to be celebrated. Starkville is getting more and more visitors, and I think we're becoming more appreciative of having folks come in and share our community. It helps to bring people back to MSU and other events. That fills our hotels and our restaurants, and that's good for our community as a whole."
The weekend also includes the Wings Over Columbus air show at Columbus Air Force Base on Saturday and Sunday. Spruill said the event, which might also lead to some people visiting Starkville who otherwise wouldn't, is an example of the strong shared growth in the region.
"When we talk about the Golden Triangle, we enjoy having that opportunity to share events with Columbus and West Point," Spruill said. "That's part of being a larger regional community. It creates synergy. Columbus has things we don't have, and we have things Columbus doesn't have. West Point is continuing to grow as they recover from economic difficulties.
"We're a vibrant, growing region," she added. "These things enhance that, and make a place where people want to play, and a great place to work and live. It doesn't get any better than that."
Super Bulldog Weekend schedule
Thursday, April 19
■ 5 p.m. - Budweiser Clydesdales viewing, Fire Station Park
■ 6 p.m. - Budweiser Clydesdales deliveries, Cotton District
Friday, April 20
■ 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Pig cooking contest, Palmeiro Center parking lot
■ 4 p.m. - Pig cooking contest sampling, Howell Building parking lot
■ 4:30 p.m. - Hail State Family Party, Main Street, downtown
■ 6 p.m. - MSU Softball vs. Florida, Nusz Park
■ 6:30 p.m. - MSU Baseball vs. Arkansas, Dudy Noble Field
Saturday, April 21
■ 8 a.m. - The Junction Opens for Tailgating
■ 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Cotton District Arts Festival, Cotton District
■ 9 a.m. to noon - Pig cooking contest judging, Palmeiro Center Parking lot
■ 10-11 a.m. - Football autographs, Davis Wade Stadium west concourse
■ 10 a.m. - Soccer scrimmage, MSU Soccer Field
■ Noon - Soccer alumni match, MSU Soccer Field
■ Noon - Pig cooking contest samples, Howell Building parking lot
■ 1 p.m. MSU Softball vs. Florida, Nusz Park
■ 1:30 p.m. - Football DawgWalk, The Junction
■ 1:30 -3:30 p.m. - Women's basketball autograph session, Davis Wade Stadium north concourse
■ 3 p.m. - Maroon/White spring football game, Davis Wade Stadium,
■ 6 p.m. - MSU Baseball vs. Arkansas, Dudy Noble Field
Sunday, April 22
■ Noon - MSU Softball vs. Florida, Nusz Park (weather permitting)
■ 1 p.m. - MSU Baseball vs. Arkansas, Dudy Noble Field (weather permitting)
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