Starkville, MSU getting ready for Super Bulldog Weekend

 

Attendees of the 2018 Cotton District Arts Festival are pictured in downtown Starkville in this Dispatch file photo. This year's festival is part of Super Bulldog Weekend, which runs Friday through Sunday.

Attendees of the 2018 Cotton District Arts Festival are pictured in downtown Starkville in this Dispatch file photo. This year's festival is part of Super Bulldog Weekend, which runs Friday through Sunday. Photo by: Dispatch file photo

 

This map shows the footprint of the 2019 Cotton District Arts Festival. The festival will feature hundreds of artists and is expected to draw tens of thousands of people.

This map shows the footprint of the 2019 Cotton District Arts Festival. The festival will feature hundreds of artists and is expected to draw tens of thousands of people.
Photo by: Courtesy image

 

The National Weather Service in Jackson has forecast possible severe weather for Saturday. While the exact timing is unclear, the Golden Triangle is under a slight risk for severe weather Saturday into Sunday.

The National Weather Service in Jackson has forecast possible severe weather for Saturday. While the exact timing is unclear, the Golden Triangle is under a slight risk for severe weather Saturday into Sunday.
Photo by: Courtesy image

 

 

Alex Holloway

 

 

As Starkville gears up for the 34th annual Super Bulldog Weekend, weather forecasters are keeping alert for the threat of severe weather Saturday and Sunday. 

 

Super Bulldog Weekend, held every spring, draws tens of thousands of people to Starkville as Mississippi State University hosts its yearly spring football game, along with an array of other athletic events, and the Starkville Area Arts Council hosts the Cotton District Arts Festival. 

 

SAAC Director John Bateman said the Cotton District Arts Festival drew a record number of applicants this year and will feature 150 artisans and about 40 musicians. The festival is drawing artists from all across the state and from as far away as Texas and Florida.  

 

Bateman said it also draws visitors from all over the Southeast. 

 

"We draw traffic from all over the state, plus Tennessee and Alabama," Bateman said. "I do see that as an asset to both the Golden Triangle, really, and Mississippi. The more we can draw people in and highlight the tremendous talent that's here -- I think it's a tremendous testament to Mississippi." 

 

The festival has grown in recent years, with an estimated 45,000 people in 2017 and an estimated 50,000 last year. Because of that, SAAC has extended the festival's footprint, and it will now stretch along University Drive from Camp Avenue to Jarnigan Street. 

 

Mayor Lynn Spruill said Super Bulldog Weekend is a prime chance to show Starkville for visitors. 

 

"I love that part of our personality and our focus, to bring people into town and have it be a place where they want to be for all kinds of things," she said. "Events like the Cotton District Arts Festival and Super Bulldog Weekend with the sports are a beautiful combination of everything we want people to think of Starkville doing and being a part of." 

 

Jennifer Prather, interim CEO of The Partnership, said Super Bulldog Weekend serves the climax to the spring tourism season and draws people from across the South. 

 

When people come to town, it's a revenue generator for the city as they stay in hotels and eat in restaurants and shop, but Prather added it helps lay the groundwork for future tourism. 

 

"What's even more encouraging about a weekend like this weekend is that we know there's so much going on that they really get that unique Starkville experience that we hope creates in them the desire to plan an additional trip to come back and really dive into the things they don't have time to do while they're here for the weekend," she said. "Retaining those visitors for follow-up visits is really important for us as a revenue generator and a tourism driver." 

 

 

 

Weather concerns 

 

According to the National Weather Service in Jackson, there's a threat for storms and severe weather across the state on Saturday and into Sunday. The highest threat is currently forecast for along and west of I-55, with that area of the state under an enhanced risk for severe weather.  

 

Much of the rest of the state, including the Golden Triangle, is currently under a slight risk for severe weather. 

 

NWS says damaging winds, hail and tornadoes are possible. 

 

Bateman said SAAC will monitor the weather as the week progresses. The festival will go on if the only concern is rain. If any severe weather appears likely, he said, decisions about schedule changes will be made the day of the festival and shared on social media. The arts festival's Twitter account is @CDAFestival and its Facebook page is The Cotton District Arts Festival. 

 

"There is no indoor alternative," he said. "I don't think people realize just how big it is, because we couldn't move everything into Humphrey Coliseum, for example. " 

 

Executive Senior Associate Senior Athletic Director for External Relations Leah Beasley said the university also is preparing for possible adjustments.  

 

"We are meeting (today) to look again at weather and try to make some calls so fans can plan," Beasley said.  

 

Any schedule adjustments for Super Bulldog Weekend will be posted on social media and at hailstate.com/sbw. MSU athletics' Twitter account is @hailstate and Facebook page is Mississippi State Athletics. 

 

 

 

Schedule  

 

Super Bulldog Weekend begins on Friday, with the annual pig-cooking contest kicking off at 8 a.m. in the parking lot northwest of Deavenport Hall. MSU's women's tennis plays Texas A&M at 3 p.m.; pig-cooking sampling of the grill will be held in the parking lot north of the Howell Building at 4 p.m.; and MSU baseball will open its weekend series against Alabama at 6:30 p.m. 

 

Events continue on Saturday, with the Junction opening for tailgating at 8 a.m. The Cotton District Arts Festival also will begin at 8; pig-cooking judging will begin at 9 a.m. in the parking lot northwest of Deavenport Hall. MSU soccer will play an exhibition against the University of Southern Mississippi and MSU volleyball will play an exhibition against the Mississippi University for Women and an alumni match, with both events beginning at 11 a.m.; pig cooking sampling of the grill will be held at noon in the parking lot north of the Howell Building; the annual Maroon/White spring football game will be held at 1 p.m.; and MSU baseball will play its second game against Alabama at 3 p.m. The Cotton District Arts Festival is set to conclude at 5 p.m. Saturday. 

 

On Sunday, MSU women's tennis will play LSU at 1 p.m. and MSU baseball will conclude its series against Alabama at 3 p.m. 

 

 

 

Super Bulldog Weekend full schedule 

 

Friday, April 12 

 

■ 8:00 a.m.: Pig Cooking Begins (parking lot northwest of Deavenport Hall) 

 

■ 3:00 p.m.: Women's Tennis vs. Texas A&M (A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre) 

 

■ 4:00 p.m.: Pig Cooking Sampling of the Grill (parking lot north of Howell Building) 

 

■ 6:30 p.m.: Baseball vs. Alabama (Dudy Noble Field/Polk-DeMent Stadium) 

 

 

 

Saturday, April 13 

 

■ 8:00 a.m.: Junction Opens for Tailgating 

 

■ 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Cotton District Arts Festival 

 

■ 9:00 a.m. - Noon: Pig Cooking Judging (parking lot northwest of Deavenport Hall) 

 

■ 11:00 a.m.: Soccer vs. Southern Miss [Exh.] (MSU Soccer Field) 

 

■ 11:00 a.m.: Volleyball vs. MUW [Exh.] & MSU VB Alumni Match (Newell-Grissom Building) 

 

■ 12:00 p.m.: Pig Cooking Sampling of the Grill (parking lot north of Howell Building) 

 

■ 1:00 p.m.: Maroon/White Spring Football Game (Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field) 

 

■ 3:00 p.m.: Baseball vs. Alabama (Dudy Noble Field/Polk-DeMent Stadium) 

 

 

 

Sunday, April 14 

 

■ 1:00 p.m.: Women's Tennis vs. LSU (A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre) 

 

■ 3:00 p.m.: Baseball vs. Alabama (Dudy Noble Field/Polk-DeMent Stadium) 

 

 

 

■ Note: Schedule changes due to weather will be updated on social media at: @CDAFestival on Twitter, Cotton District Arts Festival on Facebook/ @hailstate on Twitter, Mississippi State Athletics on Facebook) and/or at hailstate.com/sbw

 

 

 

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