While Saturday is opening day for Ole Miss football it's also the real opening day for Rebel, the black bear mascot.
The mascot made a few appearances in the spring at places where children were expected.
For his first football game, Rebel will not make a Grove appearance but will spend all of his pre-game time at “Rebel Fanfare,” a new pre-game initiative for youth and children, a take-off on the Fanfare sections at SEC championship events that include games such as a field-goal kick, quarterback throw and more.
“We have stayed true to our objectives and our mission of what mascot are for. First and foremost, they're a huge connection for children, so we'll have him in the new Rebel Fanfare,” athletics director for communication and marketing Michael Thompson said.
Rebel Fanfare opens three hours before kickoff – 12:45 p.m., this Saturday.
If Rebel is not at Fanfare, he will be hydrating and resting somewhere with air-conditioning. Thompson said he expects Rebel to go 30 to 40 minutes on, then 30 to 40 minutes off.
The pre-game radio show will take place at Fanfare, and food and drink will be available for purchase.
Whether Rebel leaves Fanfare and visits the Circle and Grove on future game days is yet to be determined.
“As time goes on we'll figure that out,” Thompson said.