guess what? It’s almost fall, which means it’s almost football season – and with 2020 all disrupted, sports are back in the game, so that means it’s time to get ready for tailgating.
Whether you’re a newbie to the tailgating scene or you’re just feeling a little queasy, we’ve got the go-to on how you can make your tailgating experience an absolute blast.
When did tailgating start?
Believe it or not, no one is really sure – although there are plenty of theories.
Some anthropologists say Tailgating is a modern version of the harvest festival (complete with games) that used to take place in much of the ancient world.
Historians speculate that tailgating had its roots in the carnival-like environment that reigned during recent rebellions and wars, with spectators gathered to watch the guillotine in action during the French Revolution, or people traveling by wagon. To compare tailgating. See Union and Confederate forces meeting at the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861.
Soccer lovers, for their part, suggest that tailgating began at Ivy League events during an era when students at lofty institutions such as Oxford and Yale used their hard-partying (and hard-playing) methods compared to their academic prowess. was more known for.
One thing is certain: tailgating in its current incarnation is a distinctly American tradition that appears to have originated organically from a sense of camaraderie that football fans (even those inherent to opposing teams) share between them. Huh.
The first use of the term “tailgating” may have been officially Started among Green Bay Packers fans in 1919, and the term seems to have become quite famous by 1933. Tailgating didn’t really start until the 1980s or 1990s. By then, tailgating had become a social phenomenon of epic proportions and parking lots became entire communities of fans who shared their food, their wine, and their high spirits with each other.
What do you need to go tailgating?
Tailgating is an experience. Like any great experience, you’ll get the most out of your adventure if you’re properly prepared. To get ready for this parking lot party you need to:
Cooking Gear and Dining Essentials
Grills are a big part of tailgating, so make sure you pack it in first. (Check stadium rules to make sure what type of fuel is allowed on site. Some stadiums don’t allow anything with an open flame, that means no charcoal or wood chips. )
In addition to the grill, you will need:
- A slow cooker to keep side dishes warm that you prepare at home
- Grilling accessories, such as aprons, mitts, tongs, meat thermometer, spatula, scraper, and tinfoil
- Coolers (plural) for cold items, beer, wine, liquor and all the extra ice you need
- Trash bag and/or trash can for easy cleaning
- Plates, napkins, serving spoons, plastic tableware, drinking cups and serving trays
- Plastic containers and bags to store leftovers
- Extra bottles of water (which can be pre-frozen and used as ice)
- A plastic tub to carry back any dirty dishes or utensils
- A metal bucket (for still-hot charcoal, if your grill requires it) and lighter liquid
- paper towels or napkins
- A small fire extinguisher (just in case)
It is always wisest to prepare your food in advance for cooking or consumption before you leave. Make potato salad at home, shape hamburger patties, prepare single-serve condiment packages, and pack as many finger foods as you can. Chips, pretzels, and popcorn go well with beer, cider, and spirits, so remember to bring them along.
seating and comfort items
Above all, you want to be comfortable and relaxed when you’re tailgating, so plan around the season wherever you are. Some items you may need to put on your list include:
- Folding Chair and Folding Table
- Battery operated fan (where it heats up)
- Blankets (which may be needed both in cold weather and for lying on the bed of your truck when it’s warm)
- Washable or waterproof tablecloth or a tarp (in case it’s windy or it starts to drizzle and you need to cover everything in a hurry)
- Sunscreen and a canopy or beach umbrella
- insect repellent and hand sanitizer
You should also have a small first aid kit with you, or a bag containing the basics, like burn spray, bandaids, and topical antibiotic ointment—just in case.
Entertainment & Fan Gear
Finally, what is a tailgating party without music and fun? Pack these items to make sure you’re ready to party with the best of them:
- Portable phone charger or portable battery so you can keep your phone charged
- Portable speaker, so you can rock and get up to speed on your favorite tunes
- Games that are easy to play, such as corn hole, ladder toss, Frisbee, UNO, or other card games
- Signs so you can announce what you’re serving
- Swag, so you can show off your team spirit and let everyone know who you are in the game for
If you’re going to be tailgating often, go ahead and invest in decorations in your team’s colors. Your chairs, blankets, plates and cups can all reflect your team’s pride and create a more festive atmosphere.
Finally, we have one last essential tip for the novice tailgater: Get there early.
If you want the full tailgating experience, you’ll probably find yourself at least four to find a place to set up, cook, eat, drink, play some games, and meet up with your friends before the game starts. Hours should be given. At its heart, tailgating is always about community, so take the time to really connect with the other wonderful people out there.