It’s all About the Game


For old-school tailgaters, though, the weekly game is the foundation from which a multigenerational, much-loved social tradition springs.


Tailgating Your Way


Where do you tailgate, and what do you take along to eat?


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“On Saturdays, it was the thing to do here – you go to a game,” said Jenna Steltenpohl, whose entire family consists of University of Louisville (Kentucky) fans who tailgate weekly during basketball and football seasons. “When we were little, we’d go to tailgates, set up tents, our parents would grill out, and hang out with their friends, and we’d play football in the parking lot. My grandma, until the year she passed, had season tickets for football and basketball. She’d go in her mid-80s.”

Steltenpohl remembers college-era tailgate parties that literally would start on the Friday evening before the game and go through the night, all the way until game time on Saturday, and then for a few hours postgame.

But pulling an all-nighter isn’t a requirement. The great thing about these parties is that everyone can find his or her own tailgate style – whether it’s showing up three hours before game time at the local university to grill burgers and brats for the family, paying for incredibly lavish catered feasts at a pro football game, or taking a picnic hamper to a green park outside one of the “grapefruit league” training games in Florida.

“You may not know the people tailgating right next to you, but because you have the same team, and you’re passionate about the same thing,” explained Steltenpohl, “you have camaraderie.”



Doing it Right


Wondering what to pack, what to cook, and where to go to find the best tailgate parties from coast to coast? We have answers in the Online Exclusives section.





Lena Katz is a freelance television developer and a travel contributor to ABC News, WE tv, E!, The Hollywood Reporter, and many other national media outlets. She’s a senior travel correspondent for the luxury portal Lena’s favorite thing is to trip around North America in search of unsung cultural treasures and colorful characters.




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