The 97th Turkey Day Classic is back—get details on one of the most anticipated HBCU games of the year

Who’s ready for some football? Photo via Jayla Brown for The Bama Buzz

Are you looking forward to turkey or ham on Thanksgiving? Well, HBCU football fanatics are looking forward to the return of the Turkey Day Classic.

It’s been nearly a decade since the longest HBCU football classic rivalry has happened. On Thursday Nov. 25 at 2PM, the Alabama State Hornets and the Tuskegee Golden Tigers will face off for the Turkey Day Classic in Hornet stadium.

The two have not met for the Turkey Day Classic since 2012, when the Golden Tigers defeated the Hornets 27-25 in their brand new stadium. This game is sure to be a good one as the Hornets attempt to claim bragging rights on their own field.

With Hornet stadium seating over 26,000, this game is almost always a sold out event.

Turkey Day Classic is A Rich HBCU Tradition

Alabama State University
Hornet Nation! Photo via Jayla Brown Bama Buzz

In 1901, Alabama State played their first football game against Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama. This would be later known as the first HBCU classic and would lead to a long-standing tradition between the two universities.

Though the Hornets and Golden Tigers consistently faced off years before, it wasn’t until 1924 when the rivalry was moved to Thanksgiving Day. The Golden Tigers and Hornets have now met 90 times for the Turkey Day Classic.

Tuskegee leads Alabama State 63-33 in the Turkey Day Classic series.

Past Turkey Day Classics have featured Miles College, Stillman College, Clark Atlanta University, and Edward Waters College.

Parades, Parties and Celebrities

The Turkey Classic features a week full of parties and parades leading up to the highly anticipated game day. Alumni and fans from both Tuskegee University and Alabama State University spend the week showing their pride.

You may even catch a few celebrities during the classic festivities. Steve Harvey, Rickey Smiley, Kirk Franklin, Frankie Beverly and Maze have all been participants in the past.

COVID-19 cancelled the classic in 2020, so the anticipation is skyrocketing as game day nears. Businesses around Montgomery have been asked to pick sides.

Wanna join the Turkey Day Classic festivities? Here’s what you need to know.

Monday November 22:

  • 3-4PM: HBCUnity Block Party at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome
  • 7PM: Alabama State Men’s Basketball vs Tuskegee University at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome

Wednesday November 24:

  • 10AM: Alumni Brunch at the John Garrick Hardy Student Center Ballroom
  • 12- 2PM: NAA Mini Conference at the Student Center Theater
  • 3-5PM: I support the athletic program at the John L Buskey Building Auditorium
  • 4-6PM: Pep Rally at Hornet Stadium 4-6PM.
  • 7PM: Turkey Day Classic Music Fest at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome. Featuring Babyface, KEM and Goodie Mob. Get tickets

Thursday November 25:

  • 9AM: Annual Turkey Day Classic Parade at Downtown Montgomery 9AM.
  • 11AM: Pre-game Block Party at Harris Way
  • 11:50AM: Hornet Walk at Harris Way
  • 2PM: Turkey Day Classic Football Game: Kick off begins at 2PM at Hornet Stadium. Get tickets

Need things to do after the game? Check out some night life spots here in Montgomery!

Jayla Brown
Jayla Brown
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