This Friday’s seven-hour Border Bash is almost like two parties in one.
“The gates open at 4 (p.m.), and we go until 11,” said Border Bash spokesperson Emily Stevenson. “A lot of families turn out with young children early. They see the cheerleaders and mascots and hang out as a family. Then, there’s another crowd which comes later for the bands.”
In its 20th year, Border Bash celebrates a college football rivalry while raising money for local charities.
It brings together between 7,000 and 10,000 fans of the University of Georgia Bulldogs and University of South Carolina Gamecocks for fun the night before the big game. The two teams will meet between the hedges Saturday, Sept. 7, at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga.
Cheerleaders from each college will be on hand early performing on stage and then mixing with the crowd. The teams’ respective mascots, Cocky and Hairy Dawg, will also make an appearance.
Early in the evening, there will be tailgating games, according to Stevenson.
Headlining this year’s event is the Southern rock quintet Blackberry Smoke, an Atlanta-based band which blends gospel, blues, soul and “outlaw country” into its distinctive sound.
“What a great band,” Stevenson said. “We have a lot of out-of-town people coming especially to see them.”
Also playing will be the Joe Stevenson Band.
While it’s an evening of fun and entertainment for all ages, Stevenson said the big winners on the night are the charities. Proceeds benefit the Border Bash Foundation, which distributes the money.
“They do a lot of good in the community, and this funds a vast number of organizations,” she said.
More than $700,000 has been distributed to area charities in 20 years. Seventeen agencies received funding last year. Among the recipients were Ronald McDonald House Charities, Golden Harvest Food Bank, Easter Seals of East Georgia, Child Enrichment, Storyland Theatre and the United Way of the CSRA.
General admission tickets are $10 in advance for adults and are available at borderbash.net, at Hooters, Communigraphics and Circle K locations. Tickets will be $15 at the gate. Children 12 and under are admitted free. VIP tickets, which include preferred viewing, food and drinks, are $50 for adults and $10 for children and are available online only atborderbash.net.