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Chapel Hill prepares for rivalry game

Excited fans jump over a bonfire on Franklin Street after North Carolina beat Duke in men’s basketball two years ago.

Excited fans jump over a bonfire on Franklin Street after North Carolina beat Duke in men’s basketball two years ago.

It is a long-standing tradition that when UNC beats Duke, students rush from the Smith Center to Franklin Street.

The Chapel Hill Police Department will increase its presence on Franklin Street to make sure any potential celebrations do not get out of hand.

“We prepare for either game outcome and whatever might come after the game ends,” said Joshua Mecimore, Chapel Hill Police Department spokesperson.

The last time UNC beat Duke — Feb. 20, 2014 — there were no arrests related to students rushing Franklin Street as of 12:30 a.m. the next morning.

“We have more officers available and prepared to cover whatever needs might arise during or following a game,” he said.

Late-night Franklin Street favorites, like Sup Dogs and BSki’s, are also prepared for a UNC victory.

“If you’ve been on Franklin, you’ve seen our huge sign that says ‘Honk if Dook Sucks,’” said Lindsey Ewing, general manager of Sup Dogs.

“We’re super stoked about (the game),” she said.

Sup Dogs opened in June 2014, so Ewing said she has not seen the rush on Franklin Street after a Tar Heel victory.

“We want them to rush Franklin Street, we want to see the craziness, we want them to win,” Ewing said.

She said the restaurant was filled with cheering fans during both of the Duke-UNC games last year.

“We were packed the Saturday it was a home game and we were packed for the away game,” Ewing said.

Bradley Smith, owner of BSki’s, said when UNC wins a home game against Duke, he sees a lot of people rushing Franklin Street.

“We’re in a college town, we definitely love Chapel Hill and we love beating Duke,” Smith said.

“It’s a welcomed madness, if you will,” he said.

Chapel Hill residents also participate in the victory celebrations when UNC triumphs over Duke.

Franklin Street residents Stephen and Sandra Rich said they love living close enough to downtown so they can experience the festivities.

“Even as part of the real ‘senior’ class, we always celebrate on Franklin with the students after a victory over Duke,” Stephen Rich said.

Stephen Rich said Franklin Street celebrations have changed over the years.

When UNC defeated Duke in 2014, students lit a couch on fire, climbed telephone poles and made small bonfires on Franklin Street.

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Stephen Rich said in the 1990s, students celebrated the victories with Carolina Blue paint instead of bonfires.

“Either way, a win versus Duke and celebrating on Franklin is just one more thing that makes the Carolina experience so special,” Rich said.

@janelittle26

city@dailytarheel.com