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Four ways to update your tailgating traditions
The end of summer is always followed by the start of the football season. But cheering on your favorite team — collegiate or professional — is only one part of what makes this time of year so fun. For many dedicated fans, setting up a spectacular tailgate is just as important as the game itself.
Wherever you are tailgating this fall, there will be traditions and nuances that are unique to that team. Here are some time-honored tips to make your tailgate setup even better.
Bring your own shade like Ole Miss
According to the Bleacher Report, the University of Mississippi has the best tailgating traditions. Fans set up on a gorgeous 10-acre expanse called the Grove, which is lined with magnolias, oaks and elms. Cars have been banned from the Grove since 1991, so everyone comes prepared with tents and canopies. In fact, the field of canopies has become a signature feature of tailgating at Ole Miss, USA Today reported.
For your tailgating setups this year, take a cue from the Rebels and bring some shade to set up under. Whether the day is scorching hot or cold and drizzly, you and your crew will be happy for the shelter. Make sure you know how to set up your tent ahead of time, though. Struggling to put up your shade among the hectic atmosphere of a tailgating lot could be a challenge.
Grill something out of the ordinary like LSU
Louisiana State University’s tailgate scene is filled with the aroma of Southern cooking, and a lot of it. Walking through the tents, you may see gumbo, jambalaya and even alligator, according to the Bleacher Report.
Most tailgaters will bring tailgating favorites like brats and burgers. This year is an opportunity to wow your friends and family by stepping outside the box. Be sure to prepare everything you can beforehand so it’s ready to serve or grill when you get there.
Arrive in a unique ride like Washington and Tennessee
There’s tailgating, then there’s tailgating. What better way to improve the tailgating experience than to move it to a boat? Fans of Washington and Tennessee know this better than anyone. Their stadiums are located near the water, which allows fans to dock and celebrate on their boats before heading into the game — or watch the game from a TV on the boat and hear the roar of the crowd.
Of course, not every football stadium is close enough to the water to take a boat to the game, but that shouldn’t keep you from bringing something awe-inspiring. For instance, dress up your truck or decorate your RV in your team’s colors.
Start early like Texas A&M and Penn State
Both of these schools get off to an early start, with Texas A&M fans beginning to set up on Wednesdays and Penn State’s RV lots opening on Thursday.
However, you don’t have to show up to the tailgate area several days in advance to get a head start on preparation. Instead, you can decorate your ride and get supplies and food ingredients together ahead of time at home, and show up as early as you can to get set up on game day.
No matter who you’re cheering for this year, you’re bound to experience some age-old traditions. Borrowing a few from other schools can help you step up your tailgating game and impress your friends.