If you love food, friends, & sports and enjoy feeling a sense of camaraderie among total strangers then you will love a tailgating party! If you’re unfamiliar, a tailgating party is when you get together with friends to eat, laugh, & drink before a football game. It typically takes place in the parking lot of the stadium with the tailgate section of your car serving as an impromptu “kitchen.”
There are many theories as to how tailgating began, and whether it be at the Packers games when they first joined the NFL or at the first college football game with Rutgers v Princeton or even at the Battle of Bull Run in 1861 where civilians gathered with baskets full of food and cheered on their “team” from areas surrounding the battle site, the idea is always the same–let’s join together, eat some food, & have a good time!
With tailgating season right around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to post some tips that will help you have the most enjoyable tailgating experience yet.
1. Be sure to arrive several hours early to ensure you get a good spot, preferable in a shady spot or near a grassy area so you have more space to spread out.
2. Coordinate with friends attending & try to park as close to each other as possible. If that isn’t an option bring large balloons, or flags, or even a canopy so they can find you easily.
3. Plan a menu based on the time of day and weather. (i.e. soups for a cold day, etc)
4. Serve food you can eat with your hands!
5. Prepare anything in advance that you can. Slice your lettuce, tomato, & onions ahead of time, have burger patties pre-shaped & separated with sheets of wax paper, if you’re making omelets, have all toppings pre-diced.
6. Label your coolers! If you brought enough food, you will have more than 1 cooler. Make things easier & label them so your friends don’t have to go through 5 coolers to find the water.
7. Label your cups. Not necessary, but nice. I always forget where I set my cup down!
8. Freeze water bottles. That way you need less ice and you have nice, cool water ready by the time the game starts.
9. If you’re using a charcoal grill, bring a metal bucket for still glowing coals. Maybe pour some of the ice over them to help cool them down.
10. Bring a large plastic tub to haul back dirty dishes.
11. Bring wet wipes to clean dirty, possibly sticky hands.
12. Pack a mini first aid kit just in case.
13. Bring chairs!
14. Bring something to keep yourself entertained (think football, radio, etc).
15. Please, please, please bring sunscreen. You will be outside in the sun for hours! I read an article the other day that said a bad sunburn before the age of 18 increases your risk of skin cancer by half!!!
Alright, those are the tips I have for you today. Stay tuned, later this week I am posting the BEST recipes for tailgating!
Other cool things:
This Game Day Football Tablecover is just perfect for tailgating! I found it for just $5 on amazon!