The aroma of barbeque ribs, slightly singed sausages, fried chicken, garlic shrimp and funnel cakes fill the air along Wanish Way and Perry Street near Bragg Stadium.
The food vendors are as much a part of Florida A&M homecoming as the football game and step-show.
One familiar red and white food stand known for its sizzling hot wings and fries has been around for almost a decade. Serena King, owner of Serena’s Mobile Food Service, makes sure she’s in town for the highly anticipated week.
“FAMU is special to us, everybody comes home,” said King. “I don’t put anything in front of homecoming. I may put something in front of a home game but not homecoming.”
For a typical FAMU home game, Serena’s Service uses about five cases of chicken. Although for homecoming, that number is tripled and nearly 17 cases of chicken are consumed. She said it’s one of her most profitable events.
“We just like to eat. It’s a part of our culture, so it wouldn’t be the same without the food vendors,” said King. At the front of the stand, grinning over the grill was the top chef, her husband Ervin King, who said he has loved FAMU all his life. “I would go to FAMU’s homecoming all the time as a child with my mother. She didn’t attend FAMU but we were always here,” said King.
Along Perry Street, not only are the ribs deeply seasoned but many of the vendors are seasoned Rattlers who’ve been at it for years.
Kawaku Frempoe, formerly known as Leroy Holland, has been working at the games for three decades. Frempoe has deep roots on the Hill. He is a 1968 FAMU graduate. A few years after graduation, Frempoe began vending and he’s been at it faithfully ever since. He said it’s his way of giving back.
“I always donate back to my school. This is my home,” said Frempoe. I just have to.”
Food vendors are available through homecoming event through Sunday