The front lawn of Grosse Pointe South High School in Grosse Pointe Farms will be the site of pregame festivities — including games, a concert and food trucks — before the annual North-South football game.

The front lawn of Grosse Pointe South High School in Grosse Pointe Farms will be the site of pregame festivities — including games, a concert and food trucks — before the annual North-South football game.

Photo provided by the Grosse Pointe Public School System


Pregame festivities set tone for highly anticipated North-South football game

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 15, 2021

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GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Whether you root for the Norsemen or your heart beats true Blue Devils, you’ll be able to cheer on your favorite high school football team again this year.

On Oct. 22, the football teams of Grosse Pointe South and Grosse Pointe North high schools will face each other on the gridiron at South in Grosse Pointe Farms.

But before the game starts at 7 p.m., attendees will have a chance to eat, meet, mingle and compare game gear. Starting at 5:30 p.m., the Grosse Pointe Public School System will be hosting a tailgating event on the front lawn of South that will feature games; a concert by The Boys of Summer, a band of students from the Pointes; food trucks; and tables with information and, in some cases, freebies from several community and school groups, including the Grosse Pointe Historical Society, Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce, The Family Center of Grosse Pointe and Harper Woods, and the newly formed Grosse Pointe Alumni & Friends Association.

Mary Anne Brush, communications coordinator for the GPPSS, said the GPAFA would be distributing complimentary hot chocolate and popcorn. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets for the pregame festivities.

“It’s a well-attended game,” said Brush, noting that it attracts a crowd of about 4,000. “It’s the big cross-town rivalry match. Everyone from the community enjoys coming to cheer on the players.”

When asked if this game is Grosse Pointe’s equivalent of the Super Bowl, Brush laughingly replied, “It is.” Bragging rights are serious business for the team that wins this matchup, and the game is something that alumni eagerly await as much as current students and their families.

Besides the fun outside, visitors will have something new to check out indoors. The GPPSS is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and in conjunction with that, there will be historical exhibits inside South’s Cleminson Hall and a Historic Hallway in the Boll Athletic Center.

Cleminson will offer archival photos, while the Historic Hallway will feature a timeline for each school building. Visitors will also be able to see artifacts, including the chair that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. used when he visited South — then known as Grosse Pointe High School — for his famous speech on March 14, 1968. An interactive trivia game will be available, as well, so attendees of all ages should keep their smartphones handy for that.

One major difference this year will be the absence of local restaurants, with most continuing to have trouble finding cooks and waitstaff.

“The Chamber is not hosting its ‘usual’ tailgate this year due to the restaurants (continuing) to face (problems) with staffing (shortages),” GPCC Executive Director Jennifer Palms Boettcher said by email.

Parking is available in the school lot on Grosse Pointe Boulevard, as well as on the street. Because of the large number of attendees and limited parking spaces, attendees are encouraged to carpool, if possible.

“Come out and see your neighbors and celebrate the school district’s 100th anniversary,” Brush said. “It’s a great community event that people look forward to.”

Tickets to the game can be purchased at the gate. Brush said attendees should bring cash and cashless payment options, as there will be school gear as well as food truck fare, concessions and game tickets for sale.

For more information, visit www.gpschools.org.

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