Monday, September 24, 2012

Tailgating in the South

Saturdays in the fall take on an entire different meaning down South than anywhere else in the country. Business stops so the entire town, and in many cases the entire state can go to the game! Tailgating is such a phenomenom down South that some universities are now offering Tailgating 101 courses, The University of South Carolina started its’ first class this semester to breed future generations of expert grill master’s! As football season gets underway you might be thinking of ways to make your tailgate the talk of the lot on Saturday!  

Tailgating in the South does not just include Saturdays on game day. Preparation begins weeks ahead from finding that perfect tent, perhaps a carpet, comfortable team spirit lounge chairs, cute decorations (possibly including an exqusite chandelier) to the biggest TV possible, not to mention the team spirit serving dishes to – of course, the food and beverages themselves!

To make your tailgate the best one around, you must go all out and not cut any corners! Here are some tips to the perfect tailgate!

11) Determine when game time is (if it’s a dreaded noon game, brunch would be a great idea with morning Mimosa’s or Bloody Mary’s, if it’s an evening game break out the grill and go to town)!

Add a Charleston flair to your tailgate party with this signature Bloody Mary from Toast Restaurant, featuring Zing-Zang Bloody Mary Mix shaken with vodka, topped with lemon, a bacon wrapped olive, fresh okra and the rimmed trimmed with Old Bay…this recipe is sure to get any tailgate going!

Develop the menu (determine whether you want a classic menu such as hamburger’s and hot dog’s or if you want to get creative and having team spirited food). Southern Living has recently released a new SEC Tailgating cookbook which can be ordered online or in stores in such retailers as Barnes & Noble, . The cookbook features themed recipes for all your favorite SEC schools no mater what time of day kick-off is at Southern Living has you covered!

Decorations (no tailgate in the south is complete until you have team spirited plate ware, tailgate tent and furniture—make sure to have plenty of seating, after all how else are friends and family supposed to enjoy your party)?! Cute homemade crafty idea’s for your party can be found by searching on or if you do not have the time to make decorations, has a lot of cute tailgating decorations from banners to hand painted ceramic platters and wine glasses.

Entertainment ( before and after the game, your guest will of course want to be in the loop, so be sure to get a satellite hookup and bring your biggest TV , so the ultimate fans can stay up to date)!   

Games (nothing says tailgating like corn hole, so don’t forget to set out a set or two for your guest to enjoy! During the offseason, is the perfect time to buy new sets and decorate them with your favorite teams colors and mascot in mind)! Cornhole World Wide has custom boards with your favorite team’s logos on them or if you desire to get crafty they have plain ones for you to decorate, which can be purchased at .


After you’ve planned your entire tailgate out, there is one thing left for you to take care of…what will you wear? Tailgating in the South is very different than anywhere else—nowhere else in America will you find women in their Sunday’s best and men in button down shirts and bowties. Since summers extend far into the fall it is best to pick lightweight flowy fabric – mix solids and patterns together for women, a nice monogrammed sash is a great touch for men, add a monogrammed bowtie! If rain is in the forecast cowgirl boots are a must for women and for men grab you bean boots and party on! Most college towns have off-campus book store’s which feature an array of tailgating items as well as many boutiques with specialty items which would be great for any tailgate! You can never have too much of you favorite teams colors in your closet, below are some great retailer’s to find all your game day necessities!

Custom Dresses & Bowties:
LaRoque {Columbia, SC} -

Team Polos:

Bowties, Needlepoint Belts, Button Down’s and Much More:
M. Dumas & Sons - {Charleston, SC} -
J. Michaels Clothiers - {Nashville, TN} -
Britton’s of Columbia - {Columbia, SC} -

Brittons of Columbia has you covered for game day!

After all the preparation is done, your outfit is picked out and everything is ready for the morning of, don’t forget two of the most important things to have great day….1) don’t forget to invite friends and family to your tailgate and 2) don’t forget your parking permit for your tailgate spot as well as your tickets! Now it’s time to get tailgating, below you will find some great recipe ideas! Enjoy! Go Team!


Strawberry Mimosa

Strawberries pureed and blended with chilled champagne


Red Velvet Waffles

Find a waffle maker with your teams mascot for the perfect touch combine red velvet and top off with cream cheese icing for game day breakfast

Fried Eggs Benedict:

Courtesy of Southern Living, Eggs Benedict Recipe

Lunch & Dinner:

Deviled Eggs

Courtesy of Southern Living, Deviled Eggs

Bacon-Cheese Dip

Courtesy of Southern Living, Bacon Cheese-Dip

Mini Muffulettas

Courtesy of Southern Living, Mini Muffulettas


Vanderbilt: The Tennessee Jam Session

Courtesy of Southern Living, Tennessee Jam Session

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