Score big this season by hosting a winning tailgate party
56 The Costco Connection OCTOBER 2012
By Lysa Christopher
ONCE CONSIDERED a pastime for the
fanatical sports lover, tailgating has been elevated from an informal parking lot gathering
to a major social event. This unique tradition
blends grilling, team pride and camaraderie
to create a memorable pre-game experience.
Today, hosting a tailgate party requires
much more preparation than simply wheeling
your grill to a parking lot and sitting in a lawn
chair. According to Costco member David
Lamm, the creative force behind www.tail
gatingideas.com, “Planning a tailgate party is a
lot like planning a backyard cookout. Only
with tailgating you are planning a party away
from home and without all the comforts, like
electricity, running water, etc.” Lamm, an
avid tailgater, created his website in 2007
when he was looking to kick his tailgate
efforts up a notch but couldn’t find a viable
resource on the Internet.
Still the darlings of the tailgate circuit,
hamburgers and hot dogs continue to rule the
menu. However, blacktop warriors across the
country are beginning to raise the culinary
bar. Grilled shrimp skewers, jalapeños
wrapped in bacon and even plank-roasted
vegetables are becoming popular tailgate fare.
The following tips will have you tailgating
like a pro.
Rules rule. Most stadiums and tracks have
strict policies regarding tailgating. Some do
not allow open-flame grilling, while others have
set areas where you can tailgate. Save yourself
a headache on game day by checking any
restrictions. “One resource I like to use is a
website called Tailgate Wiki (www.tailgatewiki.
com),” says Lamm. “It’s like Wikipedia, but all
the information is submitted by users who are
The Costco Connection
Costco warehouses carry a variety of food
and beverages to make a great tailgate party,
along with essentials such as plates, napkins
and cups. Depending on the time of year, they
also carry portable grills, canopies and more.
a sink, bring extra water, moist towelettes or
paper towels for cleaning hands and dishes.
Play nice. By nature, tailgating is a social
affair, so it’s important to be polite. Take the
time to meet your tailgate neighbors. There is
a unique camaraderie among the tailgate community, so start things off right by saying hello.
“Although the parking lot is an open and
expansive space, you don’t want to walk
through someone’s area without asking. Think
of tailgate spaces as temporary backyards,”
Game time. Most veteran tailgaters agree
that you need something to occupy your guests
until game time. A Nerf football, checkers,
horseshoes or even a mini putting green are
fun. Whatever you decide, be sure the games
you choose are engaging for all of your guests,
regardless of their ages. “Most people bring
tailgate games that are typical outdoor or lawn
games,” says Lamm.
Be a fan of cleanup. Before you head
into the stadium or track, clean up your area. Be
sure to allow enough time to extinguish all fires,
pick up trash, etc. The camping mantra “leave
no trace” can also be applied to tailgating. It’s a
good idea to bring lawn-size trash bags, as
you’ll have more trash than you anticipate and
there may not be any receptacles. C
Costco member Lysa Christopher is a Southern