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Tameka Kenan-Norman: City welcomes back football classic

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Tameka Kenan-Norman

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BY TAMEKA KENAN-NORMAN
City of Rocky Mount

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The start of fall is Sept. 23, and ironically, the start of a new, anticipated season is synonymous with a highly regarded event for the Twin Counties and for the state of North Carolina.

The Down East Viking Football Classic, now in its 22nd year, begins Thursday, Sept. 26. While the culminating event will be the highly anticipated football game on Saturday, Sept. 28, the classic is also comprised of various activities widely known for creating camaraderie, generating an interest in higher education and healthy athletic competition.

On Sept. 26, all schools, students and families are invited to attend the Down East Classic Educational Day. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rocky Mount Event Center at 285 NE Main St. Participants will learn about the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programs at Elizabeth City State University. Information about Aviation and Drone Technology will be included. Tour the school’s state-of-the-art NASA Mobile STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) lab, and admissions counselors and faculty will be on hand to answer questions regarding admissions, financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

In fact, the classic, a partnership between the city of Rocky Mount and Elizabeth City State University, is an economic driver that routinely generates thousands of dollars annually in scholarships for area students.

The fun will continue at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 27, with the Down East Viking Football Classic Golf Challenge. The challenge will be held at the Belmont Lake Golf Club at 201 Belmont Way in Rocky Mount. For more information on the golf challenge, contact the Elizabeth City State University Athletics Department at 252-335-3891.

The Rocky Mount Event Center will also be the location for the first annual Down East Viking Football Classic Celebrity Ball & Concert from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27. Among the performers will be R&B singer Avant, with actress LisaRaye serving as the host.

Saturday, Sept. 28, will commence with a Tailgating Party starting 7 a.m. at the Rocky Mount Athletic Stadium at 600 Independence Drive. The Down East Viking Football Classic Pre-Game Ceremony will start at 3 p.m.

The big action begins at 4 p.m. as CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) competitors, the Elizabeth City State University Vikings take on the Broncos of Fayetteville State University. Game tickets are $15 in advance and may be purchased at the Booker T. Washington Community Center at 727 Pennsylvania Ave.

Tickets purchased on game day will be $20. Attendees who would like to tailgate must also purchase a ticket. Tailgating spots are $70 and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. RV spots are $80.

Immediately following the game, there will be a high school band showcase. All Saturday activities will take place at the Rocky Mount Athletic Stadium.

The city of Rocky Mount welcomes excitement, fun and opportunity with the Down East Viking Football Classic. For the entire schedule of activities and more information about this annual event, visit http://www.ecsu.edu/athletics/devfc/index.html.

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