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Tailgate Party

Tailgate party is a social event in the United States which involves partying in and around the tailgate or back gate or back door of a vehicle such as a wagon or an SUV. It is marked by activities such as grilling food and consuming alcoholic beverages. The party takes place before or after events such as sports events or concerts, and are held at parking lots. Tailgating is the term used for attending such parties, which are so popular that many people don't attend a particular event but just the tailgate party. Football games, as well as other games like soccer, basketball and hockey, or occasions such as weddings and food events often feature such kind of parties. Picnic foods like cold salads, hamburgers and hotdogs are convenient choices for such parties.

Tailgate Party Foods

  • Hamburgers: These are sandwiches containing ground meat patty inside bread rolls. It may be served with onion, tomato, bacon or condiments like mustard and mayonnaise.
  • Hot Dogs: It is a sliced bun with sausage filling, and a garnish of mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise or sauerkraut.
  • Baked Beans: This consists of beans that are stewed to prepare a sauce.
  • Cold Salads: Potato salad and coleslaw are popular favorites. Coleslaw is a salad with shredded cabbage as the primary ingredient, and other ingredients may be green onions, onions, peppers, apples or other fruits.
  • Club Sandwiches: Sandwiches with fillings such as ham, turkey, bacon, swiss cheese and olives are a good choice for a tailgate party.
  • Meatballs: Bite sized meatballs can be served as appetizers for the crowd at the tailgate party.
  • Sweets: Chocolate and lemon bars are a good choice for treating the sweet tooth of the crowd.
  • Beer: This is the favorite drink for many tailgaters. Mixed drinks such as beer punch made with cold beer and strawberries, blueberries, lime juice and grenadine are a refreshing alternative.

Customary Ways to Revel at Tailgate Parties

Besides consuming good food and beverages, people bring along their stereo systems and dance to their heart's content at the tailgate party. They also play games such as ladder toss, beer pong, flipcup and cornhole.


  • Travel Channel's famous show Man v. Food had a tailgate special show in Season 3, which showed skits from various past episodes that showcased tailgate party ideas.
  • Palmetto Cheese, a brand of pimento cheese, was developed for the tailgate parties of Atlanta Braves professional baseball club.
  • In 'Any Given Sundance', an episode of the popular TV show Simpson's, Homer took his family to a tailgate party, and later said the reason for their attending the football game was actually the tailgate party.