Dawgs followers, current and future, benefit from the pre-Georgia-Florida tailgate expertise

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. (WSAV) – While the game between number 1 Georgia and Florida on Saturday will provide plenty of fireworks on the field, the real “party” at the “world’s biggest cocktail party” took place outside the stadium.

“I live for weekends like this,” said Garry Nesbit, a native Savannah graduate and UGA graduate, with a smile on his tail point. “It’s like we just picked it up from last year or the year before”

Nesbit didn’t take any chances this weekend. He was off work Friday and drove straight to Jacksonville to make sure he wasn’t missing out on the annual hatchback tradition.

“This is the only time I’ve seen these people,” said Nesbit, gesturing towards his tailgate crew. “We have people from all over, Phoenix and everywhere. It’s really nice to meet, see everyone, have fun and have a drink. “

Nesbit has been with the same group of people for nearly a decade. They consider one another family in more ways than one.

“We got married on the tailgate in 2018,” said Chris Arnold with his wife Erin at his side. “What was great.”

The Arnolds, childhood friends, tied up need and watched their beloved Dawgs defeat the Gators that same day.

“I called her parents and thought, ‘Hey, we think so, are you okay with this?” Chris recalled.

“If you know, you know,” added Erin. “We were ready to get married, so what better way to do it!”

The first #UGAvsUF game for newborns, a wedding on the tailgate, sliders, champagne and more !!

Just a few things you will find on the tailgate of this Georgia-Florida Savannah native

Today is all about the family and I’m bringing you this feature from Jacksonville tonight at 6pm on @WSAV !! pic.twitter.com/vqs8bTRSqH

– Connor DelPrete (@WSAVConnorD) October 30, 2021

The wedding took place at their usual tailgating spot. The railroad tracks and chain link fences surrounding the ceremony looked a little different from the typical church and steeple.

“That’s the personality of Chris and Erin,” said Tracy Dice, Chris’ mother and Erin’s mother-in-law. “This is what they love – they love their dawgs, they love to be well behaved and have a good time. It had to happen here. “

It turns out that Dice and Erin’s mother, Renee, had helped orchestrate the bond between their children years ago.

“First Renee introduced my husband and me and then we were all at a wedding and said,” Hey, Erin doesn’t dance with anyone and Chris doesn’t dance with anyone. Me and Renee do ‘Hmmmmmm’. “

The rest was history. That year, the Arnolds brought another person to this world of red and black – their daughter Ellie, who saw her first tailgate in Georgia-Florida on Saturday morning.

“She’s a Bulldog heritage because we both went to UGA,” Erin said, pointing to Chris and herself. “My parents went to UGA. She just has to carry it on. “

This group of Savannah natives and UGA fans had a fluid schedule for game day. When they get a ticket, they get a ticket. If not, surround yourself with family, friends, soccer, and of course, cheer on the Dawgs.