By Taylor Rexrode
Baylor will host its seventh annual Heart of Texas Community Tailgate on Saturday.
The event is free and open to the Waco community.
The tailgate will be at Getterman Stadium and Baylor Ballpark in conjunction with the baseball game against Oklahoma University at 3 p.m. and the softball game against Oklahoma State University at 2 p.m.
Jana Hixson, director of community engagement at Baylor, said the tailgate will start at 1 p.m.
She also said giving back to the Waco community helps celebrate the Baylor and Waco partnership.
“This is a way to invite the community to campus,” Hixson said. “It creates a fun atmosphere and builds goodwill with the Waco community.”
Tailgaters will receive free baseball and softball tickets and can pick them up at the start of the tailgate.
The event will also include inflatable bounce houses, face painting and carnival games.
A hot dog lunch and Blue Bell ice cream will be served and a Jack In The Box food truck will pass out hamburgers.
The cost of the event is covered by donations and money raised through Baylor’s Division of Constituent Engagement.
The event is meant for the Waco community and students are still encouraged to go to the games.
Hixson said it’s a great way to get the community on campus and engaging with Baylor athletics.
“Baylor benefits because the success of Baylor and Waco are tied together,” Hixson said. “Fostering that relationship helps it succeed. It provides access to the game and it creates new fans.”
She recalls one Wacoan who came to the tailgate a few years ago: an 85-year-old woman who grew up near campus and had never been to a baseball game.
“She brought her three grandchildren and her friends,” Hixson said. “It was great to see her have a good time and for them to experience a baseball game for the first time.”