Looking for another bucket list item on your college football bingo card? Make sure to add the annual “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” to it which happens in Jacksonville, Florida every year when the Georgia Bulldogs square off against the rival Florida Gators in this SEC East clash.
The History of the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”
Although the name lended itself to many game day arrests due to people overconsuming their alcohol and is now referred to as the “War for the Oar,” for the sake of this article and the history behind it, we’ll still refer to it as the aforementioned cocktail party. And I’m sure many will for years to come.
In 1958, Florida Times-Union Sports Editor Bill Kastelz coined the name after Kastelz saw a drunken fan stagger into a police officer and offer him a drink. Kastelz told the Tampa Bay Times in 1974, “It was just one of those things writers do when they can’t think of what else to say about the game.”
Being a neutral site game, Jacksonville Jaguars EverBank Stadium is split right down the middle every year with orange and blue on one side and red and black on the other. So although the game doesn’t happen on either team’s campus, it always feels like a true college atmosphere. And the cocktail party tag doesn’t hurt the cause. Tailgaters are lined up surrounding the stadium leading up to the game. So if you get a chance to take it in, make sure to show up early to take in the atmosphere.
The Bulldogs have taken four of the last five, the overall series remains tight with the Bulldogs leading 54-44-2.
Moments like Herschel over the top, timeout and the Gator Stomp make this rivalry intense every year. This is one of those games that’s guaranteed to still be up for grabs despite each teams record heading into the fourth quarter. So look for 2023 to be no different and the cocktail party to ensue.