Oxford may be “ESPN’s Best College Town,” but it is certainly not just for college students! From our James Beard Award-winning restaurant scene, rich local history, fabulous shopping selection, literary and artistic culture, and of course, legendary game day tailgating, there is something for everyone here in the “Cultural Mecca of the South.”
Even before the first leaves start to change their hue, the exciting hum of football season marks the beginning of fall in Oxford! We may be biased, but with so many beloved traditions and exciting local festivities, we think you’ll find no one does a football gameday quite like we do here in Oxford!
Named The Most Beautiful Campus by the Princeton Review, The University of Mississippi hosts one of the SEC’s most famed game day experiences. If you find yourself on campus at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, you will bear witness to the famous “running of the tents.” Security keeps fans out of the Grove, the ten-acre wooded ‘holy grail of tailgating’ until this set time when individuals and companies grab their tents and chairs to claim their coveted spots.
On Saturday, be sure to allow plenty of time before the game to experience Ole Miss’s legendary tailgating scene. A bit different from your typical SEC Saturday affair, tailgating is an art form here, and no one takes it quite as seriously as we do. Tents have been known to include catered meals, elegant decorations, and even a chandelier or two.
Two hours before kickoff, make your way over to the Grove entrance by the Student Union. At this time, coaches and players arrive and begin their walk to the stadium through the “Walk of Champions” archway while tens of thousands of fans cheer them on.
After the game, the fun is far from over. No matter what happens on the football field, Ole Miss fans will find a reason to celebrate. Head back to the Square to experience Oxford’s renowned nightlife.
As the temperatures continue to drop and the football frenzy of fall starts to die down, Oxford is transformed into something out of a Hallmark movie. The annual Holly Jolly Holidays brings holiday cheer and a myriad of festive events and celebrations, making Oxford the perfect holiday destination!
To ring in the start of the holiday season, join Santa Claus to watch the ceremonial lighting of the canopy of lights on the Square.
Matt Nichols Photography
All throughout the holiday season Oxford brings a “Winter Wonderland’” right to you with the installment of a 4,000-square-foot ice-skating rink. Break out your warmest mittens and come skate on this real-ice rink! You never know who you will run into at the rink- Santa Claus always puts Oxford on the nice list and makes an appearance several times throughout the season for photos and visits!
If all that ice skating has you working up an appetite, come follow the Oxford Peppermint Trail for a holiday treat! From coffee, cocktails, sweets, and more – experience the peppermint craze along the red-and-white candied trail.
Springtime in Oxford is marked with an ocean of brightly colored tulips, the return of baseball, and the Double Decker Arts festival, to name a few! As the promise of warmer weather draws near, there are so many fun ways to shake the winter frost.
A baseball weekend visit is the perfect way to see Oxford in all of its spring-time glory! Grab a hot dog and some Cracker Jacks and enjoy the opening pitch of a Friday night at the Oxford-University Swayze Stadium. Stick around after the final inning for Friday night fireworks over Swayze!
Another Oxford springtime must-do is the Double Decker Arts Festival. Oxford’s largest spring event draws a crowd of 65,000+ people from near and far to the historic downtown Square for a weekend of food, music, and art. Come browse beautiful, unique artisan selections at the art tents, try food from local vendors at the food trucks, and be sure to put your dancing shoes on as you enjoy the impressive array of musical acts!
When summer rolls around and the Ole Miss students leave, Oxford takes a deep breath. Restaurants are suddenly a little less crowded and parking might feel a smidge easier too- for many locals, this is their favorite time of year in Oxford. But don’t mistake the slower pace for a lack of things to do- there are plenty of fun, relaxing activities that keep the charming town “happening” all summer long.
Something locals look forward to each summer is the “Summer Sunset Series.” This is a concert series held every Sunday in June that brings free, live music to the Grove. Grab your friends or family, bring a picnic blanket or lawn chair, and enjoy a perfect summer Sunday night!
Fall, winter, spring, and summer all bring a fresh new array of local events and traditions, constantly giving you a new reason to fall in love with the charming town. No matter when you visit, a trip to Oxford is always a good idea!