KathyMillerTime was approached by Fanatics, the leading online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise to participate in an initiative called “Family Fanatics”.  The theme revolves around sports and family bonding.  As an avid tailgater and lover of all college sports, I couldn’t resist entering FLORIDA-GEORGIA GAME OR THE WORLD’S LARGEST OUTDOOR COCKTAIL PARTY from KathyMillerTime’s Tailgating Blog.  

 If you have never been to the Florida-Georgia football game in Jacksonville, Florida you are missing one of the most unique tailgating experiences in the country.

The Florida-Georgia game is unique in that it is played every year at a neutral site, Jacksonville, Florida.  (I guess Georgia fans don’t always think this is neutral, but what a great place to visit.)  Equal number of tickets are allotted to each school.  The stadium is evenly divided.  One side orange and blue,

Orange and Blue side of Florida

 the other side red and black.Florida/ Georgia game red and black Georgia band photo by Kathy Miller

The tailgating surrounding this game is billed as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.

Floriday Gator Tailgating at Florida Georgia game Jacksonville photo by Kathy Miller

Tailgating Georgia style at Florida Georgia game photo by Kathy Miller

You see many tailgates with Florida and Georgia fans side by side.

Florida Clara and Georgia Trish Florida-Georgia game photo by Kathy Miller

Both sides Happy Together until game time.

Laurie Geofgia fan and Florida fan celebrate Florida-Georgia tailgate photo by Laurie Cordell

Children running together decked out in their college colors.

Young Georgia fan photo from Tom Harkleroad

We start them young don’t we?

Young Gator fan photo from Tom and Sam Harlkleroad

The first time I went to the Florida-Georgia game, Pops (my Florida Gator father-in-law) bought a special vehicle for the game.  A Bright Red Van.  He picked up our friends and I kept thinking, “people will think we are Georgia fans”.  Didn’t matter.  We tailgated just fine.

Florida Georgia game with James and Lizzy's friends photo by Kathy Miller

The next year Pops rented an even larger van, one with a driver.

Florida Georgia game with large van rented by Pops photo by Kathy Miller

We departed from Amelia Island; made our way to our usual great parking spot.  The tailgate was awesome.  James and his friends from Florida helped us get into the game spirit.

Florida Georgia game with Gator friends photo by Kathy Miller

Friends and family, what tailgating and football are all about.

Florida Georgia game with Parks family photo by Kathy Miller

 We were so happy until we realized we were two tickets short.  Obviously someone had to give up their seats.

With me being the most loving daughter-in-law, wife, mother, aunt and Tennessee fan (in that order),  I Volunteered (no pun intended) to go home.  So did Aunt Vern.  The van driver agreed to take us to  the JCPenney store at Regency Mall once the game started.  He then returned to the stadium.   From the JCPenney bathroom, we called a cab to drive us all the way to Amelia Island.  It was not a cheap proposition.  We watched the game on TV and ordered  room service from Amelia Island Plantation, compliments of Pops.

We had a ball.  Enjoyed great burgers, watched a Gator victory and went to bed very happy.  Our better halves (family and friends) didn’t make it home until after 1 am due to traffic snarls and the usual.

Fast forward to the next year.  The Florida-Georgia game was actually on Halloween, Oct. 31.  In normal times this game is a crazy happening in Jacksonville, but add Halloween, costumes, and creative celebrating to the mix and it became an unforgettable memory.

Florida Georgia game on Halloween skeleton and bat heads photo by Kathy Miller

Not only do I wear my Tennessee and Gator Mom buttons, but I love crazy hats.  I found these delectable ones in Asheville, NC and brought them home for my buddies, Clara and Trish.  They have cute little black bats teetering over purple feathers.  Mine has a skeleton towering over Big Orange Feathers, including bones in all the appropriate places.  I am a tall woman and the skeleton just added to my stature!

Florida Georgia game with skeleton and portable potty photo by Kathy Miller

We do have fun!

Pops decided this year we would not wait in the long line of portable potties.  He ordered his own potty and had it delivered to our parking spot, lock included.

Florida Georgia game portable potty photo by Kathy Miller

Reserved for DF Miller.

We were one of the more popular tailgates in the parking lot.  At one point  I looked up and saw a line forming outside our portable.  I had to inform these folks  that this was a private toliet.  I thought about offering them a special “Pee for a Fee”,  but was voted down by the family.

At least this year I made it inside the stadium and enjoyed a fine game.

Florida Georgia game inside the stadium finally photo by Kathy Miller

Good memories made as the setting sun illuminates the Georgia fans.

Florida Georgia Game setting sun photo by Kathy Miller

Watch for upcoming stories from my tailgating travels. I welcome your comments, recipes and any inside information on your favorite tailgating spots.

Come celebrate with me.  I’ll save you a seat at the table.


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