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6 Tips for Hosting a Winning Tailgate Party

Tailgating is integral to the football season, allowing friends and family to come together for food, fun, and festivities before kick-off. Hosting a great tailgate party doesn’t have to be complicated, all you need is the right combination of friends, food, games, and good times. Here are some tips to help ensure your tailgate party is the talk of the stadium.

  1. Put All Supplies in Place

Every party needs the essentials, so make a checklist to ensure your supplies are handy before the big day. Remember items like plates and utensils, napkins, cups or mugs for beverages, condiments and ice for coolers, blankets and lawn chairs, games and toys (for kids), sunscreen, bug spray, a first aid kit, and trash bags.

Accessories like festive decorations, balloons, and streamers can get your guests in the spirit. A tailgate generator can also come in handy for powering your music, lights, and other essential items. You want to be caught up on the event day, so ensure you have everything sorted in advance.

  1. Stock Up On Snack and Beverage Staples

Snacks are essential for any tailgate party, so stock up on tasty treats that satisfy hungry guests during pre-game festivities. Items like chips, pretzels, popcorn, and nuts are always crowd-pleasers. Other popular snacks include dips, cheese and crackers, jerky, trail mix, and other finger foods.

Beverages should also be included in your list of essentials. Non-alcoholic options like water or iced tea can be easily prepared at home before the tailgate, don’t forget to pack solo cups, straws, and napkins. For those looking for something stronger, beer or spiked drinks can be an option. Ensure you have plenty of ice on hand to keep these beverages cold.

  1. Plan Fun Activities

Every party is complete with some fun activities. A great way to start the festivities is to plan a pre-game ritual that all your guests can participate in, like singing team songs or playing a favorite game. If you have enough people, consider organizing an impromptu football match in the parking lot, make sure everyone has their safety gear ready. Other fun ideas include setting up a cornhole tournament, playing trivia, or having an outdoor barbecue. 

Whatever activities you choose, ensure they’re engaging and enjoyable for all your guests. The goal is to make the tailgate experience memorable and fun. Your choice of activities will be based on the size of your tailgate party, as well as the age and interests of your guests. Make sure to think ahead and plan accordingly.

  1. Decorate the Area

Adding decorations is a great way to make your tailgate party stand out. There are plenty of ways to dress up your space, from streamers and balloons to branded banners and flags. You can create unique table settings with personalized team plates, cups, napkins, and utensils.

Don’t forget about the weather, if it’s hot and sunny, provide a shady area for guests to keep cool. Setting up tents or canopies is always a good option. If you plan on hosting the party in an open-air space, stock up on bug repellent and sunscreen! If you’re looking for something more creative, consider investing in a few LED lights or strobes to add some ambiance. You can also hire a professional photographer to capture the best moments of your tailgate party.

  1. Create the Right Atmosphere with Music

Nothing gets people in the party mood like music! Choose tunes that will excite your guests for the game, and bring a powerful sound system that can handle all of your tunes. Consider using a tailgate generator if you plan on hosting outside, it will provide extra power without worrying about cords or outlets. When setting up speakers, prioritize safety first. Ensure they’re positioned in a way that won’t disrupt other tailgaters and keep the volume at an appropriate level. You should also have a variety of activities on hand for when the music runs out.

  1. Prepare a Grilling Menu

No tailgate party is complete without food! To impress your guests, consider preparing a special tailgate grilling menu. Start the party with classic appetizers like wings and mini tacos, then move on to main entrees like burgers or hot dogs. With health concerns surrounding junk food, consider offering healthier options. Consider packing some healthy snacks, like vegetable trays and fruit platters. You can also add a variety of dips or dressings for your guests to choose from.

Tailgating is an American tradition, so make sure to do it right! Planning and creativity allow you to turn any pre-game party into a memorable event. Remember the tips above when preparing for your next tailgate, if done correctly, you’ll have the perfect gathering for celebrating a big win!