Dust off your jerseys, clean out your grill and get your canopies ready because it’s football season—and that’s synonymous with tailgating! For any serious fan, the tailgate party is a time-honored tradition; one that includes lots of booze, lots of food and enough festivities to keep you energized before the big game. What was once an underground operation, tailgate parties have become a conventional way of getting pumped for the big game.
If you’ve never been to a tailgate party, here’s what you need to know to plan a killer one. If you have, use this guide as a simple reminder before you head out to the parking lot of your favorite stadium.
What to Bring:
1. A grill. A tailgate party isn’t a tailgate party without one and there are so many to choose from. Popular types include charcoal grills, Colemans, electric grills and the Blacktop 360 which can do everything from grill hot dogs to frying French fries and just about everything in between.
2. Plenty of food. Popular tailgate food includes hot dogs and hamburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, baked beans and munchies.
3. Plenty of booze. How else are you going to waste away hours of your time? Make sure you are stocked up on enough alcohol and ice to get you to game time. There are some great portable coolers on the market to choose from. And don’t forget a bottle opener!
4. Canopies/tents/shelters. Rain, sun, wind and other natural elements don’t keep the die-hard tailgaters away. Make sure you bring some kind of shelter; you’ll be more comfortable that way.
5. Tables/chairs. All that partying gets tiring. Make sure you have a place to go to rest your feet.
6. Team flags. Show off your team spirit by donning a flag and make yourself more visible to your friends and your foes.
7. Games. Popular tailgate party favorites include corn hole, horseshoes, Beco ball, flip cup, beer pong, dice, washer toss, booze luge and dizzy bat.
8. Accessories. A lot of companies make tailgating accessories like BBQ tools, branding irons, magnetic and suction beer cozies, beer belts and party ware.
9. Music. A lot of tailgating parties include music and dancing.
10. Your tickets to the game. It would really be unfortunate to realize that you had forgotten them at home and have to leave the party.
Rules of Tailgating:
1. Be respectful of your neighbors. Don’t listen to your music too loud, don’t talk too much smack to the other team and do not start fights.
2. Always offer food to other tailgaters. What’s mine is yours…
3. Remember that tailgating is a family friendly event.
4. Do not urinate in public. It’s disgusting and illegal.
5. Clean up your trash.
6. Prepare as much of the food as you can in advance. It will save you time and headaches.
7. Do not give alcohol to minors.
8. Make sure that you buy more food and booze than you’ll need. You don’t want to run out.
9. Plan ahead. Tailgating parties are not cheap.
10. Respect law enforcement. If we all want to continue to tailgate we have to obey the law and be courteous.
Tailgating really has a culture of its own. Once you are privy to that culture, you’ll want to tailgate every time you have tickets to a game. Happy football season!