Today marks the start of college football season! To get you pumped for your first tailgate here is a guest blog by Amy Moczynski on how to host the perfect tailgate. Enjoy!
As an SEC girl, I know a thing or two about tailgating. Tailgates aren’t simply something you throw together the night before the big game; instead, the proper tailgate hostess will spend days, even weeks, prepping for the pre-game celebration.
There’s a lot of planning that goes into having a good tailgate, but with the right supplies and a solid to-do list, you can ensure all your friends will enjoy the tailgate as much, if not more, than the game itself. Curious what ingredients you need to whip up a tailgate made for champions? Here’s a list to help you prep for game day.
Sure you can hand your attendees cans of beer when they arrive (some may prefer beer over cocktails on game day, actually), but for an added bit of pizazz, create a signature cocktail inspired by your team. For my alma mater of the University of Florida, I might throw together what I call Swamp Juice: orange juice, champagne, and a dash of orange-flavored liquor (perfect to represent the orange and blue in Gainesville).
If you’re a Georgia fan, a bloody Mary bar might be great to rep the red and black. Consider what your team’s colors are and create a cocktail inspired by that. Give it a fun name that reminds you of your team, and voila! Signature cocktail created.
Bloody Mary’s are Tailgate Approved!
Plenty of Coolers
No matter where you’re tailgating this fall, it’s going to most likely be warm the first few games. Make sure you bring plenty of coolers, preferably one for drinks and one for food. Label the coolers to make it easier for people to know where to go to grab a beer or bottle of water. This will make sure the food you pack won’t spoil from people opening and closing the cooler frequently to grab a drink.
Folding tables, tailgate chairs, and a small grill would all be great to pack into your tailgate spot. You should also bring napkins, silverware, plates, cups, and even boozies in your team’s colors so people can eat and drink with game day style. Bonus points if you create custom boozies for your tailgate or to celebrate the season.
After a few glasses of Swamp Juice, I need something to snack on. I’m always a fan of sandwich platters and dip, but avoid anything that contains mayonnaise or another ingredient that will spoil in the sun. I’m a huge fan of this Buffalo chicken dip on game days (or any occasion to bring a dip, really) and my friends all love it.
Some other ideas are veggies and hummus; cookies and brownies; wings; and of course burgers and hot dogs. If you have some vegetarian friends like I do, make sure you have plenty for them to eat as well. After all, a long day of tailgating without any food is a sure sign of disaster by halftime.
As fun as it is to talk with your friends, you will probably need some other form of entertainment before kickoff. You can set up a TV to watch other games, or you can bring your own fun to the tailgate. I’m a huge fan of corn hole and ladder ball, and they are easy enough that even the most unathletic of folks can still enjoy.
AC / Restroom
Finally, if you’re going to be in the South the first few game days (North Central Florida, anyone? There’s a reason they call it The Swamp.), make sure to plan accordingly for a restroom and air conditioning. While neither is guaranteed, it will make your tailgate experience much more enjoyable if your guests have easy access to a restroom and a cool area to escape the heat. An RV would be ideal for your tailgate as both of these are part of an RV’s charm, plus it would allow you to easily pack all your tailgate gear.
Amy manages the digital marketing for ProBuilt Steel Buildings, a company that offers custom steel RV covers, as well as other custom steel buildings.
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