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The wait is over, and today those participating in the seventh annual Citywide Tailgate Party and Competition will prove â€śThe Ringâ€™s the Thingâ€ť and â€śRespect the Bellâ€ť as the event celebrates Mississippi Stateâ€™s cowbell tradition.
Set 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. today â€” the day before the Mississippi State Bulldogs takes on Alcorn State â€” the seventh annual event is sponsored by the Starkville Daily News with assistance from the Greater Starkville Development Partnership.
Both the SDN and GSDP will have tailgate sites, but will not be competing. Judging will begin at 10:30 a.m. today. To avoid problems encountered in previous years with judges being able to reach all Tailgate sites in a timely manner, two judging panels will be scoring this yearâ€™s event on two routes.
Because of high public interest in the Citywide Tailgate, participating teams are being asked ahead of time to set aside food for the judging teams to sample to ensure all teams get an equal opportunity for judging.
Teams on the first judging route include:
â€˘ Ability Works, Industrial Road.
â€˘ Broadcast Media Group, North Jackson Street.
â€˘ The Campus Book Mart, East Lee Boulevard.
â€˘ OCH Regional Medical Center, to be located downtown at the courthouse on Main Street.
â€˘ The Oktibbeha County Courthouse, Main Street
â€˘ The Book Mart on Main Street.
Teams on the second judging route include:
â€˘ Sullivanâ€™s Office Supply, Main Street.
â€˘ OSERVS (Oktibbeha-Starkville Emergency Response Volunteer Services), to be located at the SDN parking lot on Lampkin Street.
â€˘ Lampkin Street businesses (Bell Building Supply, Simply Home, Carles McComb, Coldwell Banker SRE Realtors, the Purple Elephant, Sisters, Stewartâ€™s Town and Campus Florist, Central Station Grill, Something Southern, Boardtown Bikes, Patâ€™s New Image Salon).
â€˘ Starkville Police Department, Lampkin Street.
â€˘ United Way of North Central Mississippi, to be located in the SDN parking lot.
This yearâ€™s Tailgate judges include:
â€˘ Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman.
â€˘ Marvell Howard, president of the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors.
â€˘ Jon Maynard, president and CEO of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership.
â€˘ Starkville City Clerk Markeeta Outlaw.
â€˘ Starkville Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas.
â€˘ Gwen Sisson, lifestyles editor for the Starkville Daily News.
As in years past, various awards will be given to winners in the Tailgate Party competition, which will be judged by local celebrity panels to be announced the week of the event.
Participating businesses and organizations will be judged in the competition according to the following criteria:
â€˘ Appearance and street appeal of their tailgate site.
â€˘ Creativity in reflecting the theme.
â€˘ Food presentation.
Awards will be given to the first, second and third place overall winners, as well as overall awards for best use of theme, best tailgate food and overall spirit.
All winners will receive special recognition in Saturdayâ€™s edition of the Daily News. Numerous photographs will be taken during the event, many of which will be selected for publication the Daily News and possible use in future GSDP publications.