The first home game will take place in Auburn this weekend and with it comes fan-favorite events and celebrations that start as early as Friday afternoon.
This season, the Auburn University Southeastern Raptor Center is bringing back its beloved family-friendly event — Football, Fans and Feathers — every Friday before Auburn home games.
The show will begin at 4 p.m. this Friday at the center’s 350-seat Edgar B. Carter Educational Amphitheater, located at 1350 Pratt-Carden Drive off Shug Jordan Parkway. Gates open at 3 p.m. and admission for those 3 years and older is $5.
The hour-long show will allow audience members to experience an up-close view of birds of prey while learning about their survival, flight and ecological roles. Hawks, falcons, eagles and other birds of prey will be free-flown from towers and around the amphitheater. The programs are delivered by Southeastern Raptor Center staff and volunteers.
At the conclusion of each presentation, several of the raptors are brought back out so attendees can have an up-close view and talk with the trainers. All birds used in the programs are permanent residents that are non-releasable due to prior injuries or human imprinting.
Refreshments will be sold at the event, and reservations are not required, though large attendances are expected. Seating is first-come, first-serve. To find out how to purchase tickets in advance, visit auburn.edu/raptor.
Also at 4 p.m. on Friday, campus officially opens for tailgating, except at the Mell Street corridor that opens at 6 p.m. for tailgating, and fans can participate in Jordan-Hare Locker Room Tours by visiting Gate 10.
Locker room tours are conducted until 6 p.m. and are free experiences for fans wishing to see the pre-game locker room setup for the Auburn football team.
First-time visitors of Auburn may want to participate in campus walking tours, led by the War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen starting at 4 p.m. at the Auburn Alumni Center. The tours are free and will be held prior to each home game.
To close out the day, the Auburn Downtown Merchants Association will host Come Home to the Corner — an entertainment district event that features live music near Toomer’s Corner by '90s cover band Teich Street, extended shopping hours and merchant specials, giving Auburn fans a last-minute chance to grab some gameday gear and accessories.
"Come Home to the Corner is an event that has quickly become part of the gameday experience," said Jessica Kohn, downtown coordinator. "Visitors and fans who arrive on Friday have something to look forward to. It adds a little something to the already virbrant atmosphere that you experience when in downtown."
The streets will not close for this event, but fans are encouraged to come out and explore the heart of Auburn and enjoy the entertainment district, which allows adults to carry alcoholic beverages outdoors in the downtown area.
Come Home to the Corner will last from 6 to 9 p.m.
On Saturday, traditions return with the Tiger Walk, which occurs two hours prior to kickoff, and the pre-game festivities that introduce the Auburn University Marching Band and rally the stadium crowd with the eagle flight are scheduled to begin 20 minutes before kickoff, which is at 6:30 p.m.
Also opening for another year on Saturday will be the Verizon Autograph Tent, located beside the Red Diamond Tailgate Show on the east side of the stadium. The event will begin two hours prior to kickoff and allows fans to meet former football players and have memorabilia signed.
Those wanting to get settled in Jordan-Hare can enter the stadium when gates open two hours prior to kickoff. Find out more about the Auburn Tigers gameday experience by visiting auburntigers.com.