With football season quickly approaching, its important to have some good ideas for a great tailgate party. Football has always been one of this nation’s favorite pastimes and with the celebration of football comes lots of food and drink! During football season, tailgate parties happen nearly every week, so it is very important to have a game plan when trying to hold tailgate parties regularly. There are certain tips to keep in mind that will make running your tailgate parties easier. Here are some that we believe can help you have a great tailgating season:
- Pack and Prepare Early – There’s a lot more to be done than you may sometimes think! Be sure to start planning days ahead and start the physical preparation at least a couple days prior to your tailgate party. This allows you plenty of time to get things prepared before the party, but also allows you a cushion in case you forget things, or the unexpected emergency happens. Preparing things as ready-to-go as possible will save a lot of time and hassle at the party as well. For example, do all your skewering and marinating of meats beforehand so they are ready to go straight on the grill. You can also pack and shape your hamburger patties beforehand, and chop up the lettuce, tomatoes and onions for it too. These are all steps that can be done at home beforehand, so you can actually enjoy the party instead of doing prep work all day.
- Maximize Cooler Space – One thing that is at a premium during tailgating parties is space. Because there are so many things to bring to a tailgate party, it’s best to pack as light and efficient as possible, while not sacrificing productibility. One of the best ways to do this is to maximize the amount of space in your coolers. One way to do this is to use frozen bottles of water in place of ice cubes, to keep your contents cool. The frozen bottles of water will still stay cold long enough to keep the rest of the contents cool. Plus, once the water bottles melt, you will have cold water ready to drink!
- Arrive Early – If you are going to set up your tailgate party at a location where you claim your space on a first come first serve basis, then it would be wise to arrive to the location early to claim the best area of land. Even if you do not get the biggest or most spacious area, it is still important to understand the environment you will be working in early, so you have more time to plan. Setting up early will also allow your guests more time to celebrate if they so choose!
- Focus On Finger Foods – At most tailgate parties, there will not be a lot of sitting down at a table. Table space will be very limited, so it would be best to serve foods that are easy to eat and quickly accessible, like any finger foods. Hamburgers and hot dogs are always a staple, but you can also try meat skewers, or different kinds of wraps or sandwiches. Your guests will appreciate how easily accessible these foods will be, allowing them to fully enjoy the party.
- Keep the Menu Varied – Being a bit different can be a good way to stand out from the rest. Try keeping the menu varied by serving something a bit untraditional for your tailgate party. Give yourself more serving options by exploring new ideas. This will eventually be a great way to have a menu that will literally have something for everyone! Apart from the traditional hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, and sausages, you can try cooking ribs, lamb, ham or even fish as well. Offering a homemade side dish or drink would also be a great way to add variation to your menu.
- Balloon Markers – If you end up in a sea of other cars, it may be a smart idea to attach a floating balloon to your vehicle to mark your area from the sky. This balloon will float high above your settlement, acting as a marker for your guests that may be approaching from afar. It may also be a good idea to use a balloon that looks unique and stands out from the rest. This way, it will be a lot easier for your guests to see where you are located when they are still far away and looking for you.
- Pack a First Aid Kit – Sometimes, accidents happen and someone may get a minor injury. Since you may be outdoors and nowhere near any medical facilities, it would be smart to bring a first aid kit just in case. This way, if there is a minor injury that occurs, you will be able to treat it on the spot instead of having to leave the area in search of treatment.
- Dirty Dish Container – Be sure to bring an extra empty container that you can put all of your dirty dishes and utensils in. Even if you are only using disposable dinnerware and flatware, and maybe even disposable chafers too, you will more than likely at least have dirty utensils that need to be properly stored and transported back home with you. Oftentimes it isn’t easy to wash anything outdoors at a tailgate party, and you don’t want to pack dirty, used utensils with all of your clean stuff. It would be a great idea to bring an empty container or bag that you can place all of your dirty dishes and utensils in, where you can wash them at home.
- Strategically Place Your Grill – Once you are ready to start grilling, don’t overlook the positioning of the grill. The grill can get very hot, so its important to keep it tucked away from high traffic areas. However, it should also be easily accessible with plenty of space around it, so people can smoothly walk up to the grill to get their food and walk away. It is also important to be mindful of the wind when placing your grill. If the wind is blowing all of your smoke back into your party and your guests, it may be a good idea to put your grill somewhere else!
- Use Festive Decor – While it’s great to have excellent food and service, its also great to look good while doing it! Be sure to use appropriate decor for your party. You can put up the team logo throughout different areas of your event, and also keep the color scheme in line with the teams colors. You can wear jerseys and team colors throughout the event as well, to add to the festive theme. These will be great ways to promote team spirit among your guests!
With these ideas, you can be sure you will always have a fun and unique experience with your next tailgate party. If you need any catering supplies to make your next tailgate party a reality, you can always find the best deals at Caterer’s Warehouse!