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By HARRIET LAIRD
Grammy Award-winning artist Jason Mraz, a Virginia native now living in San Diego, will headline the Sept. 24 MSU Bulldog Bash presented by Cellular South.
An annual event sponsored by the Student Association in the historic Cotton District, Bulldog Bash historically draws some 35,000 visitors for the largest free outdoor concert in Mississippi.
"We're thrilled to have a performer of this stature and recognition," said Thomas Sellers, MSU Student Association president. "Jason Mraz is one of the top names in music today."
He added: "Our two event directors, Meredith Sledge and Brad Hollinger, have done an outstanding job of putting this year's Bulldog Bash together." Sledge, of Sunflower, and Hollinger, of Brentwood, Tenn., are MSU juniors.
Previous artists have included Third Eye Blind, Gavin Degraw, Sister Hazel, and others.
Recognized with Grammy's "Best Male Pop Vocal Performance" in 2010 for "Make It Mine," Mraz appeals to a broad audience with his easy-going acoustic style. His third album, the 2008 "We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things," debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and was a commercial success worldwide. His first top 10 single, "I'm Yours," was on Billboard's Hot 100 for 76 weeks.
Additional artists will be announced as the date approaches.
The capstone of pre-game activities surrounding MSU's Sept. 25 football game against Georgia, events begin mid-afternoon Sept. 24 with the annual FanFare, a host of family activities presented by the MSU Alumni Association. Featuring inflatables, food, and a variety of vendors, FanFare will be bigger than ever before, Sellers said.
"At 5 p.m., we'll cap off FanFare with the DawgRally, being moved this year from the Junction to the Cotton District," Sellers said. A giant pre-game pep rally, the event literally will "ring in" the MSU-Georgia match-up, Sellers added, with fans encouraged to bring their cowbells.
For the first time last year, Bulldog Bash introduced a cell-phone based fund-raiser to support United Way of North Central Mississippi, bringing in a total of $7,000 to support the charitable organization.
This year, the Student Association will designate a single time during the concert to request that cell-phone users text NCMISS to UNITED (864833) to contribute $5 to local United Way efforts, Sellers said. "We hope to raise even more money to support this worthwhile cause."