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Fountain City Classic: A big game -- and a bunch of big events

Hurricane Michael aftermath: Albany State football team hopes to inspire a community still recovering from storm

The Fountain City Classic features the football teams from Fort Valley State University and Albany State University. Hurricane Michael hit the Albany, Georgia area hard. Albany's players drew closer and now play for a community still recovering.
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The Fountain City Classic features the football teams from Fort Valley State University and Albany State University. Hurricane Michael hit the Albany, Georgia area hard. Albany's players drew closer and now play for a community still recovering.

Sure, it’s about the game. But it’s also about what happens before the game — and even after it.

Since it moved in 1990 to the neutral site of A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium in Columbus, the annual football game between Albany State and Fort Valley State hasn’t been the only reason fans of these two rivals gather for the Fountain City Classic.

The days leading up to the kickoff at 2 p.m. Saturday are full of events. The festivities also continue following the final whistle. Here’s the schedule for the rest of the week:

Thursday

Cufflinks and Pearls & Leaders of Today and Tomorrow networking mixer, 6-9 p.m., RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, 900 Broadway: Develop professional, political and entrepreneurial relationships. Bring your business cards. Door prizes. Live entertainment. Hosted by 101.3 personality D.J. Chip. Special guest Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Free admission. Cash bar.

University Recruitment Fair, 7-9 p.m., Columbus Convention & Trade Center, 801 Front Ave., Rooms 104 and 211: Albany State and Fort Valley State officials will meet prospective students.

Friday

Coffee Sip, 7-9 a.m., Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, 6167 Veterans Parkway: Live remote on Foxie 105 and K92.7 with Michael Soul in Morning Drive. Prizes and giveaways.

Fountain City Golf Classic, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Follow Me Golf Course, 390 Baltzell Ave., Fort Benning: Shotgun start at noon. $75 entry fee. Call Robert Anderson at 706-326-5668 or Howard Pendleton at 706-575-7211.

Vendor Village, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., Columbus Convention & Trade Center, 801 Front Ave.: Women’s and men’s fashion and accessories. Fraternity and sorority apparel. Jewelry. New and old CDs.

Live remote with radio personality Michael Soul, 5-7 p.m., on the median between the Columbus Marriott hotel, 800 Front Ave., and the Columbus Convention & Trade Center, 801 Front Ave.: Prizes and giveaways.

Chairman’s Reception, 7-9 p.m., Columbus Convention & Trade Center, 801 Front Ave., Ballroom B: Business casual attire. Invitation only.

Old School/New School Party, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Columbus Convention & Trade Center, 801 Front Ave.: Foxie 105’s DJ OO Kee, DJ Trapp, DJ Kotera Jae and a special guest DJ in Ballroom A; K92.7’s DJ Michael Soul, DJ Wane Hailes, DJ Toolz, and DJ Lady T in Ballroom C. Admission $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Cash bar.

Saturday

Tailgate Village, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium, 600 Fourth St.: Parking $5. Tailgating $50 (4 spaces). Grassy area $50. Large tents $50. RVs and campers $150. Early bird setup is Thursday, from 3-7 p.m., if you registered ($25 online). Setup for everyone else starts Friday at 8 a.m. No golf carts or motorized vehicles allowed.

Vendor Village, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium, 600 Fourth St., and 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Columbus Convention & Trade Center, 801 Front Ave.: Women’s and men’s fashion and accessories. Fraternity and sorority apparel. Jewelry. New and old CDs.

Parade, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., from Colin Powell Parkway in Phenix City to Ninth Street and Broadway in Columbus: Featuring university presidents, alumni, homecoming courts, bands, students and Fountain City Classic committee.

Game, 2 p.m., A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium, 600 Fourth St.: Advance tickets available at ticketmaster.com for adults $20, children/students $12. Tickets at the gate for adults $25, children/students $15. The ASU “Marching Rams Show Band” and the FVSU “Marching Blue Machine” will perform at halftime.

After Party, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Columbus Convention & Trade Center, 801 Front Ave., Ballroom B: Admission $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

Mark Rice, 706-576-6272, @MarkRiceLE.

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