Autumn is just around the corner and with it comes football and with football comes tailgating of course. After all, what’s a football game without tailgating?

Regardless of where you hail from, who you are rooting for, or what college you attended, one thing is for sure, everyone loves a good tailgate party when football season fires up.

Everywhere you look

Inside, as well as near arenas around the country, you can witness football fanatics gathered in parking lots, on lawns, and in the back of the cars as they share traditions and good times tailgating before heading into the big game. It’s no secret: football fans are always ready to eat, drink and be merry.

In California, Bruins fans, as well as Trojans fans, are just as head over heels for their teams as are Big Ten fans on the East Coast. Don’t be surprised if you see fans of both California teams sitting down for a tailgate bash with all kinds of goodies from spirits to gourmet foods prior to taking their stadiums seats.

Die-hard can also be seen in lounge chairs or other comfortable chairs that they have brought along for their tailgating experience. Some even bring sofas, kitchen tables and more just to get into the mood. But rest assured that this thing called tailgating is nothing new.

What exactly is tailgating?

According to the website, “A tailgate party is a type of social gathering held in parking lots before — and often after — an event like a concert, football game, baseball game, or other attraction. Participants use open car tailgates for impromptu seating and access to ice chests, food, folding chairs, and other party necessities.

People with similar interests gather at a tailgate party to socialize and celebrate the event they’re attending. The party might be localized in a certain area of the parking lot where people spontaneous gather around vehicles that are tailgating. At other events, gathering virtually encompasses the entire parking lot.

For events with an established history of tailgating, partygoers might arrive hours before the event is scheduled to start. Participants often bring miniature grills for barbecuing, and many pack ice-chests with their favorite libations. Enthusiastic tailgaters might even choose to bring a recreational vehicle for access to a kitchen, refrigerator, and convenient bathroom.

In some cases, a recurring tailgate party connected to an event can grow to develop a reputation over the years that rivals that of the event itself …”

Start easy

However you decide to tailgate, remember to start off simple with sandwiches and other finger-foods like chips and dips if it’s your first tailgate. Many grocery stores and specialty shops already have foods pre-prepared so that you can pick it up before the big day. It’s a lot easier to grab something and go instead of spending hours trying to plan a menu. But tailgaters that don’t mind getting overly involved.

Change it up

In fact there are some experienced tailgaters who don’t mind going all out at all.  So, if you want to be a stand out, change it up, let your imagination loose and have fun.  Some tailgaters get so involved in the experience they erect an entire tent complete with Big Screen TVs, BBQs and just about everything but the kitchen sink when they are in tailgating mode.

You see, tailgaters are a hungry crowd who like to have fun not only during the game but well before the football players take the field.

Go ahead, make your own traditions and most importantly when you do, have fun with the people in your group and others around you! It will surely be a memorable experience!