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10 Tips to the Perfect Tailgate

Written By Michael Paladino 08 Sep 2014
What better way to bring people together than with food, friends, and football?
A tailgate of course!
If you're like us, you tailgate every game... whether it's home or away.
And when Charlie Southern tailgates, we go all the way.
Now that's it's football season, it's time to get your tailgates ready.
Here are 10 tips to the perfect tailgate:
Dang Good Decor
Don't forget how much pride you have in your home team.
Show it off through decorating your tailgate.
Hang a bunting and set out little knickknacks on the food table.
More decorations the better!
Gotta Have Games
Your tailgate will be a bust if you don't bring games
to keep your tailgating guests entertained.
Pack a football, maybe play a little beer pong, and
our personal favorite, corn hole! 
Feast of Food
As much as we'd like to say it's all about the game,
food plays a pretty big factor in a tailgate...
Make sure you have enough food to feed all your hungry guests.
The traditional hamburger and hot dogs is always a good idea
but if you're looking for something different to do,
try serving dishes that are popular in the opposing team's city or state!
The More the Merrier
Invite all your friends and family to your tailgate.
The more people there, the more fun it will be.
Invite fans of both teams... a little rivalry never hurts!
Seats are Essential 
So if you're going to invite everyone then you need to have enough seating.
Your guests will be up and around most of the time
but when everyone sits down to eat, it's not cool when you're left standing.
Set up the ultimate tailgate by converting your SUV 
into a tailgating theater. Pop the trunk and place the TV right on the edge.
Not everyone will have tickets to get into the game so having a TV
will still allow them to watch the big game! That is why they are there...
Bring on the Beverages
It's really important to stay hydrated during the tailgate...
Especially at the beginning of the season when it's still hot outside.
Pack plenty of water to last you throughout the day.
Besides water, think of drinks that everyone will enjoy.
Beer is always a good idea. Bring along plenty of adult drinks
but don't forget about the little ones who will be joining the fun, too!
Fresh Food
As the day goes on, your feast of different foods tends to sit out.
Remember, people will continue to eat throughout the day
so after the first helping of food, pack away anything that needs to stay cold.
There's nothing worse than slaving away in the kitchen the day before
making that dip that everyone loves then accidentally leaving it out in the sun 
for it to just go bad. You don't want your good food to go bad and 
you really don't want anyone getting sick.
Keep the cold foods cold and the hot foods hot.
Set a Stand-Out Table
On that same note, when you first set out the food,
make sure to set up a stand-out table display. 
This is where those decorations come into play!
Set your food out on pretty plastic dishes and create an 
assembly line of food in a way that makes sense.
Start with the essentials first, like the plates and napkins,
then arrange the food from substantials to desserts.  
Essentials are Essential!
Trash bags. Ice. Cups. Plastic silverware. Grill. Serving utensils. Charcoal.
Folding tables. Ponchos. Shall we continue?....
When packing for your tailgate, make a detailed list and checkoff
as you pack. Make sure you think of every possible situation. 
Happy tailgating!