With fall being around the corner and football season taking off in full force, many people find themselves wondering one thing: How do I host a successful tailgating party?
A tailgate party is focused around the “tailgate” (or back) of a pick-up truck and usually involves cooking on a small grill or barbecue, and adding salads, drinks (including alcohol) and snacks. Grilling out before football games, with family and friends, can be a great way to get ready for the action of a game and make the afternoon even more memorable. But, you need to be prepared. Here are some suggestions on how you can throw a successful tailgate party.
1. Schedule the tailgate weeks in advance — It’s difficult to organize a time that works for everyone at the last minute. Give guests a two-week notice to guarantee that their schedules can be open and everyone knows what they need to bring with them.
2. Ensure that you have all of the proper equipment — You’ll need several things to make your tailgate one to remember. First, you’ll need a vehicle, preferably one with a tailgate that is large enough to transport all of the supplies. You’ll need a grill to cook on, food to eat, games to play (corn hole and beer pong are crowd favorites) and decorative items (such as flags) to support your team.
3. Plan what food and drinks you will be having — This part is important, because you want to have something that is cheap, easy to cook and that everyone can enjoy. Since we are all living on a college student’s budget, the best options are hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and dip, baked beans, mac and cheese, water, pop and beer.
4. Get to the parking lot early — When it’s a big game, parking lots fill up fast, so it’s important that you arrive early so you can get a good parking spot that is close to the stadium and surrounded by fans that support the same team as you.
5. Set up any equipment — Start the grill and set up the party games early so once the guests arrive, they wont have to wait for the fun to begin.
6. Bring a positive attitude and have fun — Get to know the other tailgaters around you, but don’t trash talk fans of the opposing team. Make sure that conversation is flowing, everyone is having fun and people are ready to watch their favorite team.
7. Clean up after yourself — Make sure there is enough to time get everything cleaned up before the gates open. Throw all trash away, put the equipment back and leave you area cleaner than it was when you got there.