Ohio State starts off their festivities two hours before kickoff at St. John Arena, where the OSU Marching Band holds a concert and pep rally. The event is free and draws over 10,000 fans. If you don’t feel like listening to a marching band try out the River Jam. Local radio station WNCI 97.9 holds a huge tailgate party on Lane Avenue with live music and entertainment, as well as food and drinks and the event, is free.
Because of the sheer size of the city of Columbus, many residents grow up bleeding scarlet and gray even if they didn’t go to school at OSU. A good tailgate can be found almost anywhere around campus, especially in the lots around campus. The flood of people coming onto campus for a home game creates one of the most impressive and exciting tailgating cultures in college football. Literally anywhere in the town you can set up and tailgate and have thousands of fans surrounding you. It’s truly amazing how the town is bleeding scarlet and gray from the rooftops to the curbs. There are a number of bars that have game day specials and the parking lots always present a great spot for you to park set up the grills and throw the beers in the cooler before you head into the Horseshoe to see one of the biggest powerhouses in collegiate athletics.
The best game to go to is without a doubt is the Michigan game. This is one of the oldest rivalries in sports, and there is a great amount of trash talking, state hating, and program hating in this rivalry. The fans show up in droves for every game from Cupcake weeks to the Big Ten Title games, but nothing compares to being at the Horseshoe when they roll over Michigan.
Before football games at OSU, the St. John's Arena holds a pep rally dubbed the Skull Session. Two hours before kickoff, the Ohio State University Marching Band performs for a ton of fans, followed by the coaches addressing the crowd. Many fans gather here early to partake in this Ohio State tradition.Watch video
Beat Michigan Week
During the week leading up to the Ohio State-Michigan game there are a bunch of rallies and events. One of the most famous is the Mirror Lake Jump, which takes place on the Thursday before the game. If you’re a Buckeyes student then there’s a lot of fun to be had during Beat Michigan Week.Watch video
Buckeye Grove located on the Southwest end of the stadium next to Morrill Tower honors all the first team All-Americans in the history of the program. Each time a Buckeye earns first team All-American honors a tree is planted for him in the grove, so stop by and check out this tribute to all the greatest players in Buckeyes history.
Where to tailgate
High StreetHigh Street is lined with campus bars that many Ohio State fans frequent before, during, and after the game. The area can get pretty rowdy so if you’re looking to party before the game, definitely make some time to walk down High Street.
St. John Arena LotIf you’re looking to set up a tailgate party on campus, then there are few better places to do so than the St. John Arena Lot. The lot puts you right at the heart of the action making it a great place to tailgate.
Ohio Expo CenterThose of you looking to park an RV will want to set up shop at the Ohio Expo Center. Parking here is permitted overnight and you’ll have access to electricity and water.