CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Crowds of people descended into Chapel Hill Saturday for the culmination of homecoming weekend, a bitter rivalry contest between the UNC Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils on the gridiron.

Some fans were eager to show up several hours before kickoff.

“Oh, we’re always here early. We come early every Saturday if there’s a game,” said Danny Sullivan, who arrived less than an hour after sunrise in anticipation of the game.

Sullivan has been tailgating in a spot near the Dean Smith Center for more than two decades.

“We were like tailgating by ourselves, and then we met these other guys, we kinda merged our tailgates, it was during the Virginia Tech hurricane game. We were here for the hurricane game, nobody else, but we were here.”

While many fans tailgated in lots around campus, UNC also held an official tailgate near the Bell Tower as part of its homecoming weekend, as many Carolina alum returned to Chapel Hill.

“My wife was an undergrad here and I was in business school here, and so we see a lot of friends that are coming back in town, so it’s good to have a good tailgate, good fun and catch up with everyone,” said Tim McLoughlin.

In addition to alumni, there were also plenty of future Tar Heels eager to be part of the homecoming weekend.

“Kids are loving it, yeah, the kids eat it up. We pay for it tomorrow morning when the kids get back real late, but it’ll be worth it, make some memories,” McLoughlin explained.