18th Annual College Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival
July 2, 2012 — The careers of some of college football’s most storied players and coaches will honored on July 20 and 21 during the College Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival in downtown South Bend. A series of family-friendly events fills the itinerary for the weekend as fans celebrate the 18th Enshrinement Festival for college football’s elite.
Founded in 1951, the College Football Hall of Fame historically honored inductees with less fanfare. The move towards a community-friendly festival happened when the Hall located to South Bend in 1995. College Football Hall of Fame Executive Director Mikki Dobski explains, “Before coming to South Bend, there was only a dinner, so this is where the first Enshrinement actually occurred,” she says. As the birthplace of the festival, the event has grown to include the Downtown Block Party that kicks off on Friday at 11:00am consisting of an official Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned annual Enshrinement Ribs Cook-Off, the large scale Enshrinement Cornhole Tournament, FunZone, live music and a grand fireworks display.
The Ribs Cook-Off draws local competitors as well as those from around the U.S. creating a true tailgate village atmosphere. Fans young and old can spend the day immersed in football when engaging with special displays like the Indianapolis Colts interactive “Colts in Motion” as well as different interactive activities from the US Army and Marine Corp. And trekking all the way from Columbus, OH, Ohio State’s Brutus Mobile will help ring in the one-of-a-kind pageantry that can only be found in college football.
The air will be humming throughout the day as different musicians take the stage on the Gridiron. DTSB’s Red Table Plaza Lunchtime Concert Series will provide great local flavor with acoustic duo The Bergamot playing from 11:45-1:15pm followed by guitarist Don Savoie from 1:15-2:45pm. Cheer on your favorite Cornhole Tournament competitors from 4:00-7:00pm rock out with King Pao from 5:00-7:00pm.
The 2012 Enshrinement Class’ 18 players and 5 coaches can be seen up close and personal during the official Hall of Famer Blazer Presentation on the Gridiron stage from 7:30-8:00pm. Friday’s events conclude with a concert from Stillshot from 8:30-11:00pm and the celebratory fireworks.
Activity continues on Saturday when the Hall of Fame opens extra early at 8am with a special exhibit honoring the 2012 Enshrinement Class with artifacts and memorabilia from All-America players, Heisman winners and National Champions. Those attending the Enshrinement Ladies Lunch & Fashion Show from 1-3pm will enjoy a delicious brunch at downtown’s Café Navarre.
The weekend’s events conclude Saturday evening at the Century Center with the Enshrinement Reception and Silent Auction from 6:00-7:30pm followed immediately by the Enshrinement Dinner and Show.
Each year, the Enshrinement Festival provides a welcoming atmosphere to not only the new College Football Hall of Fame inductees but to all fans of the pastime. Make sure to take part in this year’s festivities and experience college football and downtown in a whole new way.
For more information on the 2012 Enshrinement Festival including event details and a complete list of the inductees, visit EnshrinementFestival.org.