Football is back and with football comes many time-honored traditions, especially in the state of Texas. In fact, many small towns located around our great state have been known to “shut down” on Friday nights for Friday Night Lights, where the town comes together to support their high school teams. While many people are moving to Texas from all over the country, you may be wondering what all these traditions are about, or how do YOU participate. From the marching band to the cheerleaders to the thrill of winning or the sting of defeat, there’s something fun about spending time with friends and family cheering for your team. And no matter which team you are pulling for, there is something all of us Texas people have in common: WE LOVE A GOOD TAILGATE.
Let’s be honest, for some, the best part of the day is the pre-game party where you can eat, drink, and be merry before heading into the actual game. So, whether you’re new to tailgating or looking to step your game up, our AWay Home Loans Team has you covered.
Check out our tips for creating an unforgettable tailgating experience for this football season in Texas!
1. Get there EARLY!
The key to getting a good spot is setting up your tailgate early. You want to be close enough to the stadium, so you can hear the band and the crowd, but not so close that you can't enjoy your own pre-game festivities. A good rule of thumb : If game is at noon, aim to start tailgating around 9 am. This will give you plenty of time to set up and socialize before kickoff.
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2. Bring the Essentials
No tailgate is complete without a few key items:
- Chairs or blankets to sit on
- Coolers for food and drinks
- Grill or portable stove
- Canopy or tent
- Portable speaker
Remember that you can make your setup as low-key or as over-the-top as you want. Some people like to bring TVs, so they can watch other games. Others prefer to just relax and catch up with friends.
3. Make the Menu!
This is the fun stuff! Especially in the fall! Easy things like chips and dips are always good to have. Are you bringing a grill? If so, make sure to make your list big enough for not only your group but bring extra incase some friends come by. Chili in the fall always seems to be a hit and a chili cook off is a fun way to spruce it up. Always make sure to have plenty to drink, utensils, plates and napkins and ask your friends and family to bring their favorite dish!
4. Decorate your space!
Banners. Flags. Pom Poms. Anything and everything goes when it comes to this! When it comes to tailgating college football, the more festive you get, the better. Hang flags and banners from your canopy or tent, paint your face or even wear temporary tattoos! Make sure to pick up your teams jersey or, hat or shirt to show your support!
5. Games before the “game”
Tailgating parties are a great opportunity to socialize with friends, family, and even rival fans from opposing teams. Bring yard games like corn hole or KanJam to get people interacting. You can find team bags for cornhole at places like Academy. Want to feel really festive? Paint your cornhole board! If you have kids with you make sure to pack a football or a frisbee for them to burn off energy before heading into the stadium! While tailgates can get loud and crazy make sure you are being respectful to your fellow fans and stay in your designated space to not block anyones view!
6. “Turn up the Tunes!!”
Music always gets a crowd pumped up for the big game. Songs like “Sweet Caroline” and “Callin’ Baton Rouge” both Penn State and LSU fans go crazy for! Do some research to see if your team has a favorite song, create a Spotify station dedicated to your team, bring your speakers and learn to feel the music!
7. Be prepared for Weather
Because we all know in the great state of Texas we can go from hot to cold in a matter of minutes. To make your tailgate more enjoyable make sure to always be prepared (and just a tip don’t always trust the weather man!) While yes, great weather makes for a great tailgate, don’t underestimate the amount of fun you can have in the rain! Tarps or umbrellas will help keep your space dry in case it rains and always have a pair of rain boots because who wants to watch a game with soggy shoes!
8. Don’t forget the little things!
- Bug spray
- Trash Bags
- First-aid kit (just in case)
- Hand sanitizer
When you're loading up the car, be sure to double check that you have everything. It's always better to err on the side of caution than to find yourself without something important. (Cough, paper towels, cough.)
9. Clean up before you go!
Be the person who always cleans up! There is nothing worse than seeing trash all over the parking lot. This includes disposing of any food waste, picking up garbage, and putting away all your tailgating gear.
10. Have FUN!!
Whether your team is a powerhouse or just starting to make their mark have FUN! The energy in the air, the cheering fans, the delicious food — it's all part of the experience. And the pageantry and tradition is even more special when you're surrounded by friends and family.
-Your AWay Home Loans Team