BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Tailgaters began their preparations Wednesday for this year’s Magic City Classic, as officials expect thousands of fans for the annual football game.

Cedric Harris says he’s attended the game between Alabama State University and Alabama A&M for the past seven years, and it allows him to reconnect with friends and family.

“A lot of times you don’t get a chance to see people you grew up with and who you are really close to, so this is one of the things I try to make it home every year for the classic,” Harris said.

Tailgater Cynthia Ball and her family have tailgated at the Classic for 20 years. She says the event is special because it brings families together.

“All your family gets together, and then you meet other families that come into your family,” Ball said.

Tailgaters spoke to say they have many activities planned for this weekend, and they have a full menu of food for friends and family to enjoy.

“We’re going to have some ribs, chicken and fish,” Harris said.

“We gone cook a whole pig, put an apple in his mouth, but I’m just not going to eat him!” Ball said.

Everything leads up to the big game between Alabama A&M and Alabama State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.