How to Throw the Perfect Tailgate

Did someone say kegs and eggs? “Saturdays are for the boys,” WRONG! Saturdays are for game days! College football season is my favorite season. When I wake up on a Saturday morning the first thing my friends and I do is walk to Dunkin Donuts to get our caffeine fix so we are ready for the long day ahead. Everyone on campus is typically up with us and we can already hear the music playing from people’s dorms and the smell of the grills that have just been lit. Game days are so spirited on campus and throwing the perfect tailgate can be stressful but so worth it. Here are some tips!

PLAN AHEAD   

The best thing to do for throwing a tailgate is to plan ahead. The last thing you want to do is to be running around Saturday morning like a chicken with their head cut off. I like to create a list of all the things I need to get a week in advance, that way throughout the week I can check things off. Making a list is also good that way you don’t forget any of the essentials. I like to divide the list of things to do amongst my friends that way it is more efficient. One friend will be in charge of food another would be in charge of drinks … you get the point.

THE FOOD/THE DRINKS

My favorite thing about tailgates is the food and drinks. First of all, who doesn’t love finger food? I have been tailgating since I was a baby eagle when my parents would take us to the Boston College football games, so I know what food gets eaten and what food goes unnoticed. When you are picking out foods and snacks the question you have to ask yourself is, “is this easy to eat?” No one wants food that requires a fork and no one wants food that requires cutting. My go-to tailgate foods are chicken nuggets, chips, and salsa, pretzels, cheese and crackers, sliders, hot dogs, wings and crudité. My family likes to get these items from Wegmans because they have a wide variety and you can order it ahead of time. For drinks, my biggest tip is to bring more than you think. This is because more people will show up than you think. Your friends will invite their other friends and then they will invite their friends so before you know it there will be 50 people hovering at your car. I suggest bringing multiple coolers and one cooler is dedicated to one type of drink and another is dedicated to another. For example, have one cooler with all the beer, another cooler with all the soda, etc. This way it is easy for people to find what they want and they don’t have to be fishing through all the ice.

THE SETUP

For the layout of the tailgate, I recommend having a couple of tables. We usually have one to the back of the car and one on the side of the car, shaped like an L. The coolers are usually placed on the side of the car that way people aren’t tripping on them to get food. For plates, cups, and utensils, everything is plastic and usually maroon and gold because that is Boston College’s school colors. We usually tie balloons to the mirrors of the car to add some pizazz and that way if people are looking for your tailgating spot you can use the balloons as a landmark.

THE MUSIC

Another tip is to make sure you bring a speaker to your tailgate. You don’t want your car running so, therefore, you need another way to crank the tunes. Music adds a fun vibe to anything so be sure to create a playlist of about 3 hours of songs that way you don’t have to be searching for songs in the midst of the party. Another tip is to have different genres of music on the playlist that way it doesn’t all contain rap music because that probably isn’t your parent's cup of tea. Mix it up, throw some country or what my favorite thing to do is to add throwback songs (everyone loves those!)

HAVE FUN!

I hope you take my tips into consideration because now you are ready to throw the perfect tailgate! Enjoy!

 

Sources:

https://unsplash.com/photos/VqTM2Zmlys4

https://unsplash.com/photos/hypdydZ5XC0

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Benstailgate.JPG

https://pixabay.com/en/balloons-red-blue-yellow-shiny-25737/

https://pixabay.com/en/cooler-picnic-summer-picnic-box-158618/