Mississippi State fans ring cow bell at Downtown Jacksonville Landing during NYE celebrations
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Thousands from out of town join Jacksonville residents at the Downtown Jacksonville Landing to ring in the new year.
"Mississippi State baby, ring the cow bell," says Kim Dill, from Mississippi.
"I'm here for the Gator Bowl, go Dawgs!," says Chris Corley, from Jackson, Mississippi.
Some people in purple, others in maroon, and even some in costumes - The Jacksonville Landing is packed with Gator Bowl fans and locals just waiting to ring in the new year.
"We're looking forward to the fireworks that are going to be out here, it looks like a great time," says Ken Frederking, a Northwestern fan.
The Landing hosted a Northwestern pep rally prepping fans for the big New Year's Day game between Northwestern and Mississippi State - and the venue seems to be a favorite for out of towners.
"It's right outside our hotel, it looks like a great place to hang out at and being from Chicago it's just like Navy Pier there," says Frederking.
An estimated 60-thousand fans are expected to attend the game and the Gator Bowl Association says the bowl will bring in 15-million dollars in direct spending to the city. Almost all of the hotels downtown are completely sold out or 95 percent booked.
"I was actually at the Wyndham for two nights and I'm at the Hyatt now, but yes they are very full," says Dill.
But before the big game - the anticipation builds for the New Year, and some are handing out advice going into 2013.
"Oh yeah, when it cools off and it gets a little bit cooler in the night you have to switch over to the whiskey you know, keep the blood going," says Corley.
Maybe not the best advice --
And then there are some just waiting for Tuesday's game.
"Looking forward to the game tomorrow looking forward to our first victory since the 1940s, tomorrow we feel it's going to happen," says Frederking.
"My son is playing left guard on Northwestern and its his last year so we're looking forward to it so excited, very excited," says Marty Mulroe, a Northwestern fan.
First Coast News