As tensions rose preceding Saturday’s football game against UT Martin, APSU’s tailgating tradition took on new meaning for returning students and gave new students a taste of college traditions.

Students, families and friends all gathered together for a weekend of partying and fun with games like corn-hole and other activities. Students bonded together as they prepared for Saturday’s game.

This year’s Family Weekend provided freshmen one of their first college tailgating experiences, and brought back familiar experiences for their families as well as returning alumni. Many of them were just happy to be spending that time with their families.

Family Weekend Event Coordinator Jawaun Rogers talked about the reason behind APSU’s sporting tradition.

“I started this tradition to create a space and opportunity for students to reconnect with their parents,” Rogers said. “Between October to November is when students tend to get homesick and want to reestablish connections with their families.”

This year’s Family Weekend incorporated this trend into their pre-game ritual.

This event brought many students and families together as they witnessed one of APSU’s staple traditions.                      

Tailgating has become a staple of college athletic activities. It also exudes the spirit of Family Weekend as well. All of the families that came together were able to enjoy great music, good barbecue, and fun games.

Some have said that tailgating is sometimes more fun than the actual game itself. Tailgating at APSU started 12 years ago and has continued to be one of the most anticipated events on campus.

This was freshman chemistry major Paige Armstrong’s first time tailgating, but she said she had a very good time.

“I really enjoyed myself,” Armstrong said. “It was very lively, and the food was good.”

A few parents also shared their tailgating experience with Family Weekend.

“I have had a really fun time at APSU so far,” Marcus Hunt, the father of freshman psychology major LaQuinta Hunt, said. “We toured almost seven schools, and not one could compete with this school.”

The parents of many students said they enjoyed this aspect of the college experience, and they look forward to having this become a part of their family tradition.

The tailgate event showcased a change in atmosphere for APSU, with the Govs’ football on a three-game winning streak.

With the football team on a winning streak, students and parents alike got the chance to bond with one another in the spirit of fun, as students immersed themselves in the college experience.