Planning a Successful College Football Tailgate Party

 By: Dana Buttenhoff
Planning a tailgate party prior to a college football game which features your favorite team can be extremely stressful or very relaxing, it's all what you make of it. A tailgate party is meant to be a gathering to celebrate friendship and good times and is not meant to stress you out. As Bobby McFerrin once sang, "Don't Worry, Be Happy".

There are several key ingredients to make sure your tailgate party is a success:

1. Good friends. This is a vital ingredient to a successful tailgate party.

2. Good food. A great idea is to coordinate with your friends so that you are covered on all aspects of food. There is nothing worse than having burgers and no buns or ketchup!

3. Beverages. Make sure you know the campus rules about consuming adult beverages. There are many college campuses that prohibit the consumption of adult beverages even if you are of legal drinking age. Know the rules that apply to where you are going to have your tailgate party!

4. Food preparation. Are you going to bring food that is already prepared to your tailgate party or will you prepare it on site? Many folks will bring crock-pots of chili or other hearty dishes in stay warm containers to their tailgate party that simply needs to be dished out and enjoyed. There is another segment of the tailgate party population who state that a tailgate party is not complete without grilled foods. Do what best fits your group of friends.

5. Music. As I mentioned before, a tailgate party is a celebration of friendships and good times. Make sure your music reflects your celebratory mood.

6. Respect. There are many college campuses that designate tailgate party areas. Make sure that you are courteous and respectful of other fans that may be having a tailgate party in the same vicinity that you are enjoying your tailgate party.

7. Bring your own trash container. Make sure that you clean up your area after your tailgate party. Bring along trash bags to put your disposable items into. Leave your tailgate party area cleaner that when you arrived.

Once you have a plan for your tailgate party and have arrived at your destination all that remains is the celebration. Tailgate parties can be designed to conclude shortly before kick off or can continue at half time or after the game as well. Many fans will continue their tailgate party after the game to allow traffic to die down. Why not enjoy some more good food and great times with your friends while the vast majority of the fans are stressed out in traffic?

These are just a few guidelines to put you on the right path to enjoying a great tailgate party. The important thing is that you enjoy the family and friends that you have gathered with. If you enjoy yourself then any tailgate party you plan will be a success!
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