Whitney Russell
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A Fall-Time Refresher on Tailgating Etiquette

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football season

Football season: one of the most exciting fall-time events for many Americans. 
Photo: TarHippo

Whether you are a die-hard sports fanatic or enjoy any gathering with yummy foods and amazing beverages, tailgating is an enjoyable way to cheer on your favorite team in a casual social setting. Kick off football season this autumn with these tips for partying the safe and smart way.

chicken wings

Share your wings: one of the easiest ways to make new friends
Photo: Good Free Photos

Bring something to share

Always bring a food and/or drink to share with friends and nearby tailgaters. This is especially true if you’re attending someone else’s tailgating party. Whether you pack a couple of extra six-packs or make some additional wing trays, you will have more fun and help others have more fun if you contribute to the communal pool of tailgating refreshments.


Pack the essentials

Make sure to pack the gear, food, and drinks you need to maximize your tailgating experience. Don’t forget to pack your grill, cooler, chairs, Solo cups, and bottle openers. Make sure to get ice bags beforehand to keep your beverages chilled. It’s also a great idea to bring some paper towels and garbage bags for potential spills and minimizing the mess as you and your friends root for your team.


Remember to pack your grill
Photo: David Williss

Guidelines for bringing your dog

If you want to bring your dog to a tailgating event, do your research beforehand to make sure pets are allowed in the area where you’ll be partying. If you do bring your dog, make sure to bring water and food as well as toys and appropriate shade. Keep your dog on a leash at all times, out of respect for other tailgaters who may or may not like dogs.


Go easy on the alcohol

Tailgating parties are known for being high on the alcohol—which makes it all too easy to overindulge while you’re at an event. Whether beer or wine coolers are your drink of choice, you can maximize fun and minimize potential hangovers by setting a healthy limit for how many drinks you’ll have during the shindig. Some individuals find it helpful to follow the “one drink per hour” guideline.


Keep things friendly

Avoid getting into heated arguments with fans from the other team. Tailgating provides a friendly context for sports fans to congregate, regardless of which “side” they’re on. Make small talk and share your food and drinks with your neighbors whether or not they’re wearing the same team colors.

Clean Up After Tailgating

Clean up after yourself before leaving a tailgating event.
Photo: Michael Dolan

Clean up afterwards

Don’t be that person that leaves a messy tailgating area behind after the game. Before heading home, tidy up the space where you partied. Also, remember to take home everything you brought with you; it’s all too easy to leave behind chairs or grilling gear. Cleaning up after yourself shows respect not just for the space, but to for other tailgaters.


Drive home safely

Stay safe as you leave the event so you can experience this thrilling pastime for years to come. To this end, it’s a good idea to decide on a designated driver beforehand. If you find yourself too tipsy to drive home and can’t find a friend to chauffeur you there, call a taxi or ride share service like Uber or Lyft. If the party area is near your house, consider walking home.


Follow these basic guidelines and you’ll help make tailgating events more fun and safe for everyone.


Sources: Baggo, All Pet News