Baton Rouge: A Taste of Game Day in the Red Stick
The following is one in a series of blogs prepared by the Convention & Visitors Bureaus of the 14 cities that are home to the universities of the Southeastern Conference. These blogs are presented to enhance fans' enjoyment of the rich history and culture of SEC cities across the 11-state footprint of the Conference.
Located in Louisiana's capital city of Baton Rouge, LSU doesn't just have athletic accolades - it is also consistently voted as one of the top tailgating locations in the nation. Whether you're strolling downtown or immersing yourself in the game day experience, Baton Rouge is a must visit for those Saturdays in the fall.
The best way to experience game day in Baton Rouge is to arrive early enough to enjoy the afternoon before the big game. Louisiana is known for its colorful history, and there's no better way to experience it than by visiting the "Castle on the River" - the Old State Capitol - or by viewing the skyline of Baton Rouge from the observation deck of the tallest state capitol in the United States. After checking two of our most notable landmarks off your bucket list, you can enjoy some live music at Live After Five, a free concert series held on Friday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in downtown Baton Rouge. You're sure to work up an appetite after joining in a fais-do-do (Cajun dance party) with the locals, and lucky for you, Baton Rouge is home to many different culinary options. Louisiana is historically influenced by many different cultures, and the restaurant options reflect the diversity. Creole, French, Mexican or Italian food are just a few of the many different dining options in Baton Rouge.
Like many SEC schools, LSU is built on tradition, and game day is no exception. Many Tiger fans start the day early, and to have fuel for your game day, you'll want to stop for Baton Rouge breakfast staples, beignets and café au lait, before hitting the tailgate. The LSU campus transforms into a sea of tents and RVs during football season, and the smell of South Louisiana cuisine fills the air. While burgers and hotdogs may be the tailgate food you're used to, Louisiana does it differently. Pots filled to the brim with jambalaya are more common than you think, and many fans get creative and serve up game day delicacies such as grilled Florida gator or Arkansas Razorback cochon de lait - depending on the game, of course. LSU fans are known to be friendly and welcoming, so don't be surprised if someone hands you a plate and a beer!
A couple of hours before kickoff, fans make their way to Victory Hill to watch The Golden Band from Tigerland march in and lead the team over the hill before they head into the stadium. Missed the Tiger Walk? No worries! If you're one of the lucky ones and have a ticket to the game, get there about an hour before kickoff to see the full pregame show.
When the sun sets in the western sky, you'll find out why they say there's no place like Death Valley at night. Tiger Stadium is known for its electric atmosphere, and it comes as no surprise that it's considered one of the loudest college football stadiums. Sing your heart out to classics such as "Louisiana Saturday Night" and "Callin' Baton Rouge" as the crowd cheers the Tigers to victory! After the game, keep your game day spirits high and celebrate with your friends before resting up for your trip home. We hope you leave Baton Rouge with a full belly and plans to come back!