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How to Create the Best Tailgate for the Big Game

Oct 02, 2012 02:46PM ● By Erin Frisch

How to Create the Best Tailgate for the Big Game

The best football game experience is more than just the game—it’s the whole day! Tailgating is a must. Tailgates build community support and bring people together to celebrate football, food, and fun. Creating the perfect tailgate isn't difficult; you just need some good friends, lots of food, and a whole lot of fun. Here are a few “musts” for creating the best tailgate for the big game.

Tailgating is all about supporting your team, so dress up! Throw on every piece of your favorite team’s logo and clothing so you stand out in the crowd. Bring flags and anything else you can find bearing your team's name so everyone knows why you’re there.

A great tailgate should have artery-clogging food, and plenty of it. Bring the grill along with some charcoal and lighter fluid, and start cooking—hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, and any other meat your gang enjoys. Don’t forget your vegan and vegetarian friends—be sure to include veggie burgers and dogs, along with side dishes that everyone will love. Pasta salad is a perennial favorite, plus a big pot of veggie beans, and a basket of crisp apples for dessert. (Okay, make that apple pie to continue on that artery-clogging vein if you must—pun intended.) Pack an ice chest, or a few, with beer; not every stadium allows you to bring a keg, so check the rules before heading out. Bring other beverages for the kids and those who don't drink beer.. Don’t forget the koozies to keep your beverages cold and your hands warm.

As day turns to night, the temperature drops, so bring blankets and extra sweatshirts for the cold ones in the bunch. Make sure you have enough chairs for everyone to cuddle into when the chilly wind blows in. If there’s rain in the forecast, have umbrellas and rain ponchos on hand so your gang can still have fun. Bring a few battery-powered lanterns, too, so when darkness rolls in, people can still find the food and drinks, and each other.

If you aren’t going into the game, you’ll want to have a way to follow it. Bring a radio or hook up a TV so everyone can tune in. Make sure to yell and scream when plays go your way, or when they don't, so everyone knows you are a true tailgater.

Entertain your guests with games. Games like beer pong, ladder toss, and washer pitching will work up appetites and provide fun while you’re all waiting for the game to get underway. Make sure you bring a football to toss around too.

Laugh and have a great time. Tailgating is about supporting your team, being surrounded by friends and family, and just enjoying life. Drink responsibly and start cooking!

What are your favorite essentials to bring to the game?

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