When I think of fall, I can immediately sense the cool breeze of a Saturday afternoon and hear the distant melody of the marching band. Yes, it’s football season in the Carolinas, and Smith Swann family tradition is in full effect.

You see, UNC has always been a cornerstone of tradition in our home. Between day trips to watch a basketball game with my grandparents and Saturday adventures to Kenan Stadium for some football, my favorite childhood memories came from our time in Chapel Hill. Recently, my sweet 8-month old niece attended her first game (start them young!) As you can see from her photo, she enjoys Tar Heel game days and dresses up accordingly!


As we escaped the wrath of Hurricane Matthew a couple weeks ago, I had the joy of experiencing another beautiful day in Chapel Hill. My sister graciously surprised us with tickets to a UNC football game, and it was the perfect distraction to the unsettling week leading up to Saturday. It was the perfect retreat from the storm, because Chapel Hill is our home away from home – both for me and my husband (who also grew up attending every game!)


We begin our time together at least four hours prior to the game, and make certain to have full tummies (with a little room for concessions of course) before heading in for kickoff. A typical Saturday spread includes a breakfast of biscuits, country ham, and fruit alongside plenty of sweet treats. Alternatively, for late afternoon games, we rely on good ol’ fashioned barbecue, fried chicken, potato salad and chips – super healthy of course! We’ve been known to wear coordinating jerseys and t-shirts, but more often than not we’re simply decked out in as much baby blue as possible. But what matters most? We’re together.


Today, it’s a joy to bring friends to the place that brought us such delight as children. We love celebrating our Carolina Tar Heels, but moreover – we’re grateful to honor a childhood tradition and connect as family. What are some of your fall traditions?


Go Heels!

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