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  • Delayne Martin

Tailgating 101

Updated: May 31, 2022

Thank you to ASU Liberry Deck Tailgate

What happens when you combine brats and beer with a huge cocktail party? Or the Cockaboose Row and the Vol Navy? Simple. It’s a college tailgate party of course!

Thank you to Sarah Sharpe and fellow Gamecocks

Tents, flags and grills as far as the eye can see. Tailgating continues to evolve and become more elaborate every year. Coolers, corn hole, and beer pong set the stage for friendly competition before the big game. Setting up the perfect tailgate spot is serious business to alumni, fans and parents. Food can range from full on grilling to potluck meals. The ultimate tailgaters roll up in RVs and span the entire weekend. It’s so much more than eating a meal. It involves showing your school pride and reminiscing with college friends. It means drawing a line in the sand and declaring your loyalty.

Thank you to Draughn High School Tailgate

Tailgating doesn’t just happen. Planning is key for a successful tailgate party. You cannot control the outcome of the game, but you can make sure everyone at your tent enjoys the festivities.

Research where you plan to tailgate. Is it allowed? Do you have to pay to reserve your spot? Make sure you aren’t on private property.

Timing is important. How early do you want to be in your seat? Allow plenty of time to cook, eat and clean up before heading to the stadium.

Create a menu and make a shopping list. Menu preparation hinges on how much time you have. Not a cook? No worries. Finger foods are always a good choice. Grilling out? Complete most of the prep work at home to allow more time to socialize. Pack your cooler in reverse order of when you need all of the items. Coolers can also serve as a warmer. Wrap your messy dishes like baked beans in an old towel. Spills are inevitable.

Most importantly, leftovers are expected! Over plan your menu for post game snacks.

Thank you to Carrie Cook

Check back next week as we outline some of the most notable collegiate tailgate scenes around the country and a few interesting tidbits about the history of tailgating.

Thank you to Barbie Shatley

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