In 1984, the first State Fair Classic football game was played between Grambling University and Prairie View A&M University.
The Grambling Tigers and Prairie View Panthers have locked horns every year since. Over time, the contest has created the schools' biggest, annual social event, as well.
But the State Fair Classic has always been more than just a football game. The half-time show also puts the high-octane, in-your-face routines of the Prairie View A&M University Marching Storm Band up against the "World Famed" Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band.
The State Fair Classic is one of many rivalries between historically black colleges and universities that popped up in the 20th century. In 1924, football teams from Alabama State College and the Tuskegee Institute met for the first Turkey Day Classic in Montgomery, Alabama. That game created a new tradition of classic football games between historically black colleges and universities. Soon, similar football rivalries began to sprout up across the U.S. South.
In most instances, the popularity of the games became so great, the schools' stadiums could not accommodate the number of people planning to attend. Neutral stadium locations had to be identified.
Such is how the State Fair Classic came to be.
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