When it comes to being a gracious guest, attending someone else’s tailgate isn’t that different from going to a dinner party. Once you accept an invitation, there are a few things to consider before taking advantage of the free food and fun.
- Ask the host what you can bring. Even if it’s a small contribution like cups, a bag of ice, hot dog buns, brownies, chips and dip—it’s always a nice gesture to not show up empty handed and, of course, any and every little bit helps when it comes to a game-day feast.
- Bring a chair. There is hardly ever enough seating at a tailgate party. If you plan to make this one tailgate your only stop for the day, you will want to have a place to sit, so be proactive and bring your own chair. Hey, you might even bring two chairs! Nothing is worse than being known as the “chair stealer” of the crowd.
- Don’t assume “the more, the merrier.” Most tailgate hosts probably will not mind if you bring a friend or two, but you should ask to make sure. It might be awkward to have extra people tag along if it is a small tailgate with only close-knit family and friends.
- Be mindful…or in the words of Emily Post, “Do not overindulge.” Self-control can be more challenging when surrounded by tailgating snacks that may seem never-ending, but you never know who else might want seconds or if others will show up later.
- Help clean and pack up when it is time to head into the game. There is nothing worse than hosting a tailgate on game day and watching as everyone who enjoyed the tailgate begins walking toward the stadium, leaving a huge mess behind. You don’t want to be that guest. Help the host and hostess pack away the chairs, tables, grill, and groceries so even they can make their way to Jordan Hare on time.
- And always say “thank you!”