SEC championship weekend is upon us, and you know what that means:
Time for either Alabama or Florida to start making their College Football Playoff travel plans.
But even before that … Time to party all over Atlanta!
That doesn’t just go for Crimson Tide or Gator fans either — although of course it helps to have your team playing for the title for the second consecutive year at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Georgia Dome. SEC football is hands-down the best in the college realm (and maybe some parts of the NFL realm, too …yeah, we’re looking at you, 0-12 Cleveland Browns, ahem!). That’s something everyone can celebrate.
It all starts with some serious pre-game chest-pumping Friday night:
In Midtown, it’s “Bama in Atlanta” time at Smith’s Olde Bar from 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. The Atlanta chapter of the University of Alabama National Alumni Association’s SEC Championship Celebration includes complimentary appetizers, food and drink specials, automatrc entry to win a Greg McElroy-signed football, a raffle for SEC tickets and other Alabama-related items and more. Tickets must be purchased in advance at www.bamainatlanta.org. $6 for chapter members, $10 for others. 1578 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-875-1522, www.smithsoldebar. com.
Meanwhile, the Florida faithful will be whooping it up from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant in Buckhead. The Atlanta Gator Club’s SEC Championship HAPPY HOUR Kick-off Event will feature food and drink specials and other game-related activities. 273 Buckhead Ave. NE, Atlanta.404- 841-0066, www.fadoirishpub.com.
Next from 8 p.m. to midnight, the UFAA SEC Championship Party takes place downtown a short spiral throw away from the game site at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center. Hosted by the UF Alumni Association, there’ll be performances by Bobby & the Aristocats, appearances by the UF Spirit Teams, and a cash bar. Tickets are $10 in advance at www.ufalumni.ufl.edu or $15 at the door (cash only). A limited number of reserved tables are also available for $200. 100 CNN Center, NW Atlanta. 404-659-0000, www.omnihotels.com
Don’t have game tickets, but still want to watch along on CBS with hordes of your fellow crazies … er, fans? Here’s where viewing parties are taking place Saturday:
Alabama territory: Smith’s Olde Bar; Hudson Grille Midtown ( 942 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, 404-892-0892); Hudson Grille Sandy Springs (6317 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, 404-554-8282); Crestwood Tavern (1090 Windy Hill Rd., Smyrna 470- 308-0824).
Florida territory: Sidebar (79 Poplar St. Atlanta, 404-588-1850).
Neutral (?) territory: College Football Hall of Fame SEC Championship Viewing Party .From 9 a.m. until the game ends next door at the Georgia Dome, there’ll be tailgate games, music, raffles from Dos Equis, the game on a big screen and much more. $30 ticket (available at www.cfbhall.com) also includes food, your first drink free, and access to tour the Hall. 250 Marietta St., N.W Atlanta, GA 30313 404-880-4800, www.dfbhall.com