It's that time again! FOOTBALL season is upon the Upstate and the über picnic plans have begun. Just because you are out in a parking lot or a grassy field next to your car does not mean you intend to “rough it”. Au contraire, mon frère! We plan (months in advance) to tailgate and cheer our team in style!
In case you didn't know, season parking passes alone start in the thousand-dollar range and go up from there depending upon proximity to the stadium and are bought, sold and traded like precious commodities. A prestigious tailgate spot and reputation is highly coveted and fiercely maintained from generation to generation.
Of course a tent is recommended. A table (or three) and chairs (8 or 10) is a must. From there, feel free to go wacky, and folks in these parts abso-effin-lutely do! A vehicle with special features may be bought from the factory, or custom oufited, or, a entire tailgate wagon/trailer can be purchased with team theme, or rented to decorate, temporarily, of course.
Next there must be food, LOTS of food! Tailgate tradition for noon games begins with a hearty breakfast. Traffic is often so horrendous following the game that tailgaters plan an early evening meal as well and just hang out.
Grills are the thing whether stand alone or somehow built into your rig. Grill like a pro with over-the-top, built-in grill table and chair set ups. Low country boil is very popular and often prepared onsite as well. Crockpots are a standard to prep, and plug in at the site.
Elaborate coolers have been designed to make the bar tending easier. Tailgaters party with coolers that would get Thurston Howell III by in style on that deserted island. If all your cooler can do is hold ice and drinks, well, check this out: http://coolest.com built in blender, speakers, phone charger and more.
Fun and games? Have to keep everyone entertained and occupied. In addition to a football or two to toss around, yard games complete the experience. DIY plans for jumbo jenga, dominoes, cornhole and ladder golf are available. You may also find these items online already professionally logo-ed.
Now to the finer points - décor and fashion! Bring all, all ALL your bunting, frou frou and accessories in theme school colors please! Decorate the cupcakes appropriately, shape any food you can into footballs, and don't forget flower arrangements for your tables. You have a legacy to uphold!
Do your best to dress in the school colors with style. T-shirt and shorts? Try a little harder, this is team pride after all.
If you need more tips and inspiration have a look at Kathy Miller's tailgate blog or Taylor Tailgates, and remember - tailgating can be an art form, so be creative and pull out all the stops. Have a blast out there ya'll, win or... WIN!