It’s tailgating season, which means it’s also football season! (Or is it the other way around?) If you’ve never turned the back of your vehicle into a portable party, it’s time to take the plunge. Here’s what you need to know to have the tailgate party everyone will cheer for:
1. Thou shalt show thy colors. Tailgating is all about team spirit. Deck yourself and your party out in all the proper colors and gear. If you don’t own official gear for your team, you can still wear the team colors. Whatever you do, don’t be the downer who shows up wearing beige. (Unless, of course, you’re cheering for Beige University.)
2. Thou shalt prepare for the weather. Too many times a tailgate party turns soggy when Mother Nature shows up with some rain. Hopefully you won’t need it, but if you do, you’ll be forever grateful for your packed umbrella, gazebo, or tarp.
3. Thou shalt make a list of essentials. You’d be surprised at how many tailgaters show up with everything but charcoal. Or plates. Or hot dog buns. The stuff you’re sure you’ll remember is the easiest stuff to forget.
4. Thou shalt beware of vendors. Unless you enjoy dropping a lot of cash, beware of trinkets, gear, drinks, and party fare for sale around the parking lot. Swing by your local party store ahead of time for less expensive decorations, and bring your own paints for face painting. (See our tutorial here.)
5. Thou shalt arrive early and park near the exit. The earlier you reach the lot, the better. Aim to arrive at least three hours before game time for the best pick of parking spots. You won’t be rushed and you can select a prime spot near an exit, which makes for a painless getaway when the game is over. The second best parking spot? Near the portable potties, of course!
6. Thou shalt stock the cooler for everyone. Don’t forget to stock the cooler with a variety of drinks for everyone present, including the kids. You’ll be glad to include a few water bottles as well.
7. Thou shalt bring trash bags. When it comes time to clean up and head to the game, nothing is more frustrating than realizing you have no trash bags. If you’re a regular tailgater, keep a box of trash bags stocked in the back of the car.
8. Love thy tailgating neighbors. Be friendly and accommodating of your fellow tailgaters. If they forgot ketchup, it will serve you well to offer yours. Especially when you realize you forgot the trash bags.
9. Thou shalt bring music. Every party needs some tunes. Bring a portable stereo or mp3 player instead of depending on your car stereo. A dead battery makes a tailgating party last a little too long.
10. Thou shalt bring treats that increase team spirit. Your team spirit should show through, right down to dessert. Supply cupcakes, cookies, or cakes that feature your team’s colors to send everyone off to the game on a truly sweet note. My recommendation is a decorated Big Cookie Cake. Right now, you can take 20% off any Big Cookie Cake (use code 1TEK at checkout). And if you call us at 1-800-COOKIES, you can customize your cake with your team’s colors, as well as a special message up to 25 characters long.
All right, sport, I think you’re ready now. Enjoy the game, the season, and your Big Cookie Cake, too! And if I forgot any other tailgating commandments, leave them in the comments section.
(Coupon code good through 10/15/10.)