How to Plan the Ultimate Tailgating Party

Mar 31, 2023 / Public Storage

People choose self storage when they’re going through some sort of change, whether relocating to a smaller house, remodeling or just decluttering. Even a change in seasons can inspire a trip to a storage unit. If it’s fall, it must be time to store personal watercraft, pull out the pigskin and start watching football! We’re celebrating this connection between storage and sports seasons with help from guest blogger Sydney Fong and her tailgate party ideas. Sydney (pictured below left with Allyson Bach) is a senior at UCLA, but she could be a student anywhere. We all love getting together with friends to cheer for our team!

Author Sydney Fong with her sorority sister Allyson Bach at a UCLA Rose Bowl tailgate

Guest post by Sydney Fong

Football season is finally here, but for many fans tailgating can be even more exciting than what plays out in the stadium afterwards. These fans can spend a lot of energy masterminding their parties to make the most of time with friends. There are a few simple tips, however, that if followed can help make any tailgate party a success.

First, be sure to plan your tailgate start at least two to three hours before kickoff. For our recent game with Cal, we even had someone stake out our spot at noon, seven-and-a-half hours before the game, which is a lot easier if you are in a large group. Some friends show up earlier than others, but ideally everyone has enough time to fully enjoy the company without feeling rushed, and there is enough time to eat and pack up again well before heading to the game.

A UCLA tailgate chef

The Rose Bowl on game day, where UCLA plays home games, is host to acres of tailgating tents in grassy fields surrounding the stadium. It can get quite crowded even early in the day, so carpooling is a good idea. That way you can be eco-friendly, and you won’t have to conquer the chaotic parking lot alone. Our sorority rides together in a bus with a campus fraternity. We socialize, sing songs and get fired up for the event on the way there. Other experienced tailgaters drive a large pickup truck, RV or van for easy loading and unloading of essential gear. For extra points, decorate your car with a team poster or a flag to help guests locate your group and show off your team pride.

burger patties on the grill

To host a successful tailgate party, consider bringing a barbecue grill, whether a fancy gas model or basic Smoky Joe, lawn chairs, portable speakers (unless you use your car stereo), and coolers filled with tasty food and beverages. The basics include hot dogs, burgers, finger foods and chips and salsa, all easy items that you can grill and eat with your hands. Keep in mind that some of your guests may be health-conscious, so consider providing healthy snacks such as a vegetable platter!

You should not feel limited, however, by these options. I once attended an 11 a.m. tailgate party when the host cooked scrambled eggs in a pan heated by the barbeque grill. Genius! You can even make your tailgate party potluck style and encourage your guests to cook their favorite recipes and bring their dishes to share.

The most important thing to bring is the right mindset, that a tailgate is all about socializing with good company. Invite all of the friends you want to, and allow your friends to invite their own guests. That way you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people. The more the merrier!

Enjoy the game! Share your own personal tips and recipes for hosting tailgate parties, or even share stories about your favorite tailgate party memories.

PHOTO CREDITS: From top, Todd Vosghanian and Anthony Baldo; Sydney Fong and Allyson Bach; Luis Oregel

by Ann Griffith

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