After months of no sports, the Vicksburg Red Carpet Bowl is set for Aug. 21.
Started in 1962, Vicksburg and Warren Central high schools alternate each year to host the Red Carpet Bowl football event, which funds a scholarship program. The two games are played back-to-back.
In this year’s bowl, Warren Central is set to play Holmes County Central while Vicksburg will play Madison Central. Although it’s VHS’ turn to host the games, they will be held at Warren Central due to construction at VHS. The Gators will host the event in 2021 and 2022 to make up for this year.
The event was created by local businessmen who wanted to raise money for an injured player by the name of Leo Pickett. After the first game, it became an annual event. It is now in its 57th year and is the longest running bowl game in the southeast.
The game provides a $750 scholarship to athletes in Vicksburg. This year the Red Carpet Bowl Committee was able to grant nine scholarships to athletes going on to college in the fall.
“It gives a chance to give students extra help with expenses such as books and laptops,” said Mark Buys, Red Carpet Bowl chairman.
The event started off as a football game but it has now expanded into other sports.
“We now have a Red Carpet Bowl game in basketball and golf,” Buys said.
The Red Carpet Bowl search committee, headed by Kevin Ford and Briggs Hopson, that approaches different schools to find teams that will be a great fit for the event.
”We try to bring in teams who will bring in a nice size crowd with them as they travel to Vicksburg, and we have a excellent reputation so far,” Buys said.
The Red Carpet Bowl committee is continuing to follow the Mississippi High School Athletics Association guidelines, and there is no official word on how the event will look this year due to the pandemic. Buys is in contact with VWSD athletic director Preston Nailor and superintendent Chad Shealy to ensure that the game will be held in a safe manner.
The Red Carpet Bowl has always been an exciting thing to witness, and a good percentage of the community comes to support and watch the games. The event usually has 25 to 30 sponsors that help pay for merchandise such as T-shirts.
High school sports came to an end early this year in Mississippi due to COVID-19, but the Red Carpet Bowl can be the fresh start for sports going into the fall.See a typo? Report it here.