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Very Important Game: Pacers face Hawks for annual ‘Gold Friday’ game

The Fieldhouse is always festive the night after Thanksgiving.

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Brooklyn Nets v Indiana Pacers Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Friday night, the Pacers host the Atlanta Hawks in what is always the most festive atmosphere of the season with an engaged and electric crowd ready to root for the home team.

The annual Friday after Thanksgiving Day game is the final piece of a day in downtown Indy that energizes the city with maximum holiday spirit. Major events surrounding the Fieldhouse prior to the game put people in a great mood. Then the 8 p.m. ET tip time gives fans plenty of time to enjoy all of the holiday cheer outside before turning raucous for the game inside.

Come early, stay late because there will be plenty of people downtown. Three of the six IHSAA State Championship football games are played down South Street at Lucas Oil Stadium starting at noon with the 1A championship, followed at 3:30 for the 3A title (Go Chatard!) and then the big 5A final at 7 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, on the Circle, massive crowds gather for the annual lighting of the ‘tree’ at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Those festivities begin at 6 p.m. and wrap up just before the Pacers game gets going. Last season, the Pacers took a rare loss in the ‘Black Friday’ (or as the Pacers call it, ‘Gold Friday’) game, falling to San Antonio when the home team had no answer for LaMarcus Aldridge. That broke a string of six consecutive wins on the festive Friday game.

With the Hawks in town, the Pacers should be able to use that home crowd energy to start another winning streak. Make sure you’re at the Fieldhouse to enjoy the festive atmosphere and the Pacers playing close to full strength.

You can buy tickets from StubHub here.

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