Mike Ingalls for TheSabre.Com
Marching band in Scott Stadium at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Wow, what a week! Earthquake on Tuesday, hurricane on Saturday. What is next, locusts? Let’s hope not, because college football season starts September 1st! And that means...tailgate parties!
A love of or even a knowledge of football is not required. All you have to know is how to plan a party—or read an informative blog that will help you.
There are several things to consider when planning a tailgate party. Two of the most important are the menu and beverages. Both of which can be influenced by kickoff time and weather. Take for instance the Virginia Tech versus Appalachian State game on Saturday, September 3rd at 12:30 p.m. A brunch menu with a Bloody Mary bar would be perfect for a 12:30 kick off.
Consider making a brunch casserole or savory tart, both of which will travel well if you are actually traveling to the game. A Bloody Mary bar is easy to prepare before the game and it gives your guest the chance to be creative and be part of the tailgate details. Use this as a guide but don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and make sure to include your “old family” favorites. Make sure to have plenty of your team’s mood stadium cups on hand for your guests' creations.
A more appropriate beverage choice for the University of Virginia versus Virginia Tech game on November 26th, when the weather might be chilly, would be an adult hot chocolate. Try Penzeys Spice hot chocolate mix, warm milk and spiced rum, topped with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper in each mug. Try it. If your guests like it, claim it as your own!
For the 3:30 p.m. University of Richmond versus James Madison University game on October 1st the menu could be a light lunch that reflects the autumn bounty. Pack your Coleman road trip grill and make apple burgers with apple shandies.
For a 6 p.m. game such as William and Mary versus University of Virginia on September 3rd a more substantial meal might be required; serve a chili or Brunswick stew with corn bread or biscuits. Make a signature beverage such as lemonade or this Dragon's Breath Chiller (note: Pisco is grape brandy.)
Remember these events are tailgate PARTIES, and what is a party without decorations and entertainment? Choose your décor to match your team colors, add special touches like personalized stadium cups for attendees. Pack the corn-hole, washers, ladder golf, a football and smartphone with Pandora radio or other favorite music app.
If you are traveling to the game make a packing list to ensure that you have everything you will need for a successful event. Your supply list should always include tables, table clothes, camp chairs, plates, cups, flatware and coolers. Remember to check the weather forecast and pack accordingly: there is a 30% chance of scattered showers in Blacksburg on Saturday September 3rd, so make sure to include a tent.
Not one of the lucky ones who can travel to the game in person? Have a far away favorite team? Use these same tips for tailgating at home. Up side: no packing!