Tailgate parties are a near-essential part of college and professional sports fandom. Some tailgaters start celebrating days before a big game! With hockey season and other winter sports just starting up, make sure you have everything you need to throw the best tailgate party ever.
No tailgate would be complete without food and drink! Of course bring a grill—one that’s easy to set up with a large cooking surface—but don’t forget the appetizers and finger foods either. Prepare your meat as much as possible before the party to save time on grilling, and don’t forget a cooler! It’s essential to keep drinks cold, and meat and dairy based foods from going bad. Also, don’t forget to take plenty of paper plates, cups, and utensils to last the whole party!
Nothing keeps the party life up and boredom away than listening to music or the pre-game show! Boost your speakers with an amp kit, or grab an MP3/iPod docking station and every couple hours have a different friend play DJ. Whatever system you decide to use, make sure you can hear it over the sound of rowdy fans!
Even with food and music, it can be pretty boring just waiting around for the game to start, especially when energy and anticipation levels are high. One way to keep everyone occupied and channel some of that energy is to have some fun games sitting around for people to play. Some ideas include a beanbag toss, ladder golf, dizzy bat, horseshoes, lawn bowling, or Frisbee golf.
Nothing spoils the party more than being rained out or taking a trip to the ER because of hypothermia. And while true fans would never let poor weather ruin a good tailgate, being comfortable is also important. Be prepared for all weather situations, dress in layers, and have emergency supplies on hand. Have some blankets, gloves, heat packs, hats, rain ponchos, tents or canopy, and of course a jacket with the team logo on it on hand at all times. Tarps are also great to cover food and supplies if it starts raining.
Tailgates can last for days, and even the shortest parties usually go for a few hours. Your truck’s tailgate probably isn’t big enough to seat everyone, and standing the whole time will get tiring fast. Invest in some folding chairs that are easy to set up, comfortable, storable. If you are—or will become—a frequent and avid tailgater, invest in chairs with built-in padding, foot rests, cup holders, and removable cushions you can take into the game with you. Some jean or other heavier-duty blankets can provide extra seating on the ground, as well as emergency warmth.
While you may have lots of fun grilling, eating, playing games, and spending time with friends, tailgating is really all about the game you’re about to see. Showing your team spirit will help you stay excited for the game, make friends with other fans, and maybe even win the “most decked out fan” award!
Just remember that while you’re having fun, you also need to be safe. Kegs of beer and other items that promote rapid consumption of alcohol have been prohibited at many stadiums. Keep your alcohol to single serving cans or bottles. And remember, you are in a parking lot with cars potentially moving around you, so stay aware of your surroundings.
So grab a new sound system from Execution Audio, slab some steaks on the grill, kick back and enjoy the tailgate--but have plenty of trash bags on hand for when the party is done!