Who is ready for football to start? We know we are! As we have been navigating through this new way of living, tailgating may not be the same, but you can always throw your own tailgate party at home.
A tailgate party traditionally revolves around tailgates of vehicles in the parking lot of a sports facility, but you can preserve the nature of the tailgate party by simply keeping pre-game festivities outdoors. Bring the party to your backyard with food, games and decorations! (We recommend OU Sooners decorations!)
Set the stage for your tailgate party with your team's colors: streamers, banners, posters and other party-store and homemade decorations that will transform your yard into tailgate party central. Encourage guests to come dressed up like they were tailgating at the stadium. Some may show up in costume with painted faces. Use tablecloths, plates, cups and napkins in team colors. Give a prize for the best team apparel.
What is a tailgate party without music? Make a playlist that is spirited and full of classic game-day jams.
One of the hallmarks of the tailgate party is the grill, whether charcoal or gas, and you may want more than one to facilitate different foods and grilling styles. Remember the Grill Master is in charge.
Guests can nibble on snacks all day long, both indoors and outdoors. Serve tortilla chips with salsa, sour cream and a few homemade dips, such as queso. Keep plain and flavored potato chips on hand. Put out trays of cut vegetables and a bowl of fruit.
For great main dishes, offer enough of a variety to make everyone happy. Grill a combination of steaks, burgers, hot dogs and brats, but also offer creative fare. Grill some vegetables or have crock pots of chili and pulled pork on hand as well. Ask your guests to bring their favorite game-day snacks, and your table will have plenty of options.
Sides and Salads
Toss baked potatoes on the grill or use a shallow pan on the grill to fry some diced potatoes with chopped onions, bell peppers, olive oil and seasonings. Grill fresh corn on the cob and brush with melted butter. Seasoned green beans or carrots, warm biscuits, a chopped salad, a bowl of potato salad, a bowl of mixed fruit and thick watermelon slices will round out the meal nicely.
Ice your drinks down in coolers or ten-gallon tubs. Have bottled water, juice, lemonade and soft drinks. Let guests bring their own favorite beverages.
With all that food, dessert may not be a priority, but who can resist a football-shaped cookie with the stitching painted on with icing, or jersey-shaped cookies with names or numbers? And you cannot go wrong with brownies!
Games are a must at a tailgate party. Set up a volleyball or badminton game, or play croquet, lawn darts, volleyball, or horseshoes. Leave plenty of room for socializing. A game of corn hole is great for all ages.
Keep the decorations going into the room where you will be watching the game. Have beverages and snacks available, just like at the stadium. Be sure to have enough comfortable seats on hand (padded folding chairs provide good extra seating). Have some small team flags and a few foam fingers on hand to wave during great plays.