Customize your NCAA Tailgate Party with Team Decorations

Here’s a conundrum.  At tailgate parties in College Football Arenas, there is a huge mix of young students and those of over-21 drinking age.  It’s not fun to serve Shirley Temples to everyone there, is it?  But there are enough adults to make sure that the youngsters are safe so I’m thinking that it’s OK to combine drinkers and non-drinkers in the same tailgate party.  Yet a lot of the fun comes from customizing your party, dressing it in your team colors across the whole spectrum of tailgate party gear. The young guys certainly know how to dress the part.  


Dressing The Part in Team Colors is for Gals and Guys and not just clothes.

So maybe it’s not JUST about the booze.  It’s about the fun, the tailgate party prepping and the look of your site. Counted at the end of the summer season of 2016, there were 774 colleges and universities that have football programs. On average about five a year teams are added and nobody seems to leave.  So you can NCAA for football till your wallet runs dry as there are so many ways to show your team spirit. Firstly I would say dress for your team and then check out all the other stuff you can find that screams team.  At the very least you can slip on a crew shirt and the one above comes in a huge range of team colors with logos.  Below are a few ideas to start you thinking about how you can make your tailgate party so much more fun (and you can re-use them for the whole season or beyond).  I have noticed that most are very reasonably priced and buying online will save you a trip to the big-box party store.

Glitter Gear Nebraska Cornhuskers Official NCAA 3/4 Zip Pullover Track Jacket

Cornhuskers Official NCAA Track Jacket.

Cornhuskers Official NCAA Track Jacket.

Jackets that wear their hearts on their sleeves (metaphorically)  are available in all team stylings. This is one for the gals. They are surprisingly inexpensive so you can buy one for multiple team loyalties if you have a divided family.  Hey, who has ALL their kids in the same college these days? Follow the links to a heck of a range of bargain clothing for your NCAA team.

Then customize your eats and drinks:

The Memory Company NCAA Virginia Tech Gameday Ceramic Platter

The Memory Company NCAA Virginia Tech Gameday 2 Ceramic Platter

The Memory Company NCAA Virginia Tech Gameday Ceramic Platter

Don’t just use a plain white platter – go for a team one.  This will make you stand out from your NCAA adversary in the parking lot!

Start with an NCAA Tablecloth.

This one is 8 feet long and you can track down your team’s version through amazon by clicking here: 

Rico NCAA Michigan Wolverines 8-Foot Table Cover

Rico NCAA Michigan Wolverines 8-Foot Table Cover

You can even just buy your team’s fabric and custom make your own table cloth, banner or blanket.

Collegiate Fleece University of Alabama Fabric

Collegiate Fleece University of Alabama Fabric

The one above is fleece but you can find all kinds of fabric – even cotton, to make skirts and dresses.  Pretty versatile for the next step which is to:

Decorate your tailgate party site whether in a parking lot, a park or just in the back yard.

College Flags and Banners

College flags and banners

College flags and banners

This one is 13″ x 18″ and you can even hang them around your garden.  Go here and navigate to your own team’s banner from the pictures below the listing. There are heaps to choose from.

You can also hang team ornaments around your site.  Or keep them for the holiday tree.

NCAA Ball ornament - Florida State

NCAA Ball ornament – Florida State

Wearing your heart on your sleeve for your own team shouldn’t be dismissed – it is essential (IMHO).  And while you are there, make sure you have a good repertoire of team songs to hammer out when you’re, well, hammered.



Review: Best Kegerators and Gear for Your Homegate Party – Big is Better in 2018

Big is Better at the Homegate Party

We all know that when it comes to Best Kegerators and Gear for Your Homegate Party – Big is Better in 2018.  The Homegate Party is catching on in many areas for a few reasons with people who preferred to tailgate party joining in and doubling up: terrible east coast and southern weather, kegerators, expense of reserving a parking space for the day, restrictions on what you can use and the limit on how much you can fit in your vehicle. These days, sports fans want kegerators.  These are fabulous ways to have your beer and drink it too, and at small cost. While there’s nothing quite like actually being there for the tailgate party scene, if you prefer to homegate party, you can set it up so well that you can make it a memorable (read *fun*) day from start to finish.  Maybe by the pool … But mostly, this post is a general wrap about stuff that is way too big to be classed as portable.  Such as kegerators. We will add to it as we check out more and more useful products.  And yes, there’s NOTHING like the atmosphere of an all-in tailgate party. But homegating is a viable and manageable alternative – or do both. As well, we would love to hear about your experiences with the Homegate Party scene!

Weber Summit 7470001 by the pool for Homegating

Weber Summit 7470001 by the pool for Homegating

Essentially, the gear is similar.  However, you can be sure that nobody is going to stop you from setting up a smoker, a whizz-bang grill and pizza oven and blast the world with the loudest speakers money can buy.  After all, you’re in your own backyard or man cave. Scale is 9/10ths of the law – you can have Really Big Stuff at a homegate party.

Let’s start with the centerpiece of all tailgate parties or homegate parties – the grill.

As, for most homegating, the grill can be either built in, gargantuan and therefore, too big to take to parking lots, not portable or just dependent on charcoal or woodfire for fuel (which is banned in many lots), we are going straight to the grills that are the stuff dreams are made of.

The Weber Summit 7470001 670 Gas Grill for your homegate party

Even Weber calls this the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ and ‘The Top of the Line’. High praise and a lot of positive reviews on many sites.  I have not had the privilege of test-running one of these, but there’s always hope.  I have to be content with fondling them when spotted at Orchard, Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Weber Summit 747 closed

Weber Summit 747 pack shot !

Here is the grill I fantasize over.  It has a whopping 769 inch cooking surface. OMG, those steaks!

Summit with masses of homegating food

Summit with masses of homegate party food

This particular Weber BBQ grill has the number 747 in it – seems to be the jet class of BBQs in every way.  Note that the one pictured is a natural gas model requiring plumbing of a gas line to where you want to use it (by the pool man-cave or outdoor kitchen) but there are many versions that run on propane.  I love the natural gas version of this Weber for home.

It features

6 Snap-jet individual ignition controls – 6 large burners.

Sear Station

Side burner

A smoker burner and smoker box

Built in thermometer

Built in cart and a space for your tank if the propane model. Accessories shelf.

Rear mounted infra-red rotisserie burner

Cast aluminum construction of all cook boxes – this features cooking grates, burner tubes, Flavorizer Bars, and the grease management system. Angled just right, the Flavorizer bars catch drippings that smoke and sizzle, adding flavor to your food. Any drippings not vaporized by the Flavorizer bars follow the slope of their unique angle and are funneled away from the burner tubes, down into the grease management system. No more carcinogenic flare-ups that give the meat a smell of kerosene.

There are many design aspects of this amazing grill that are exclusive to the Weber company.  It will last a lifetime and create homegate party memories. Mostly, you in a Chef hat!

Weber Summit with Rotisserie

Weber Summit with Rotisserie

10 foot flexible hose included

Built in lighting illuminating the cooking surface.

Weber Summit with night lights

Weber Summit with night lights

It is worth reading the feedback on selling sites as it is so positive. People say this is the best investment they have ever made for outdoor cooking.  A Kegerator is the ideal companion.Read our article on Kegerators here.

Note that Made in America (Illinois) Weber Summit does require some assembly as it is only partially built in the box.  But it is easy stuff and you and your buds can knock the chore over in no time.  You have to factor in the extreme weight of the grill and all its components.  When you have it delivered, lay it all out on the floor of your garage and check that everything is in the box.  Try to put it in assembly order.  (This is an Ikea hint!)  And speaking of hints, Ms. Rawhide says ‘Just don’t break out the beer till it’s time to raise a celebratory brewski and christen the monster. Never drink and assemble.’

The Smoker

OK, so you CAN just use the Weber Summit for your smoking as well, but I believe it is sheer luxury to maintain a separate machine for each purpose.

The Bradley Smoker 33.5″ model

For starters, this is an electric smoker.  That’s different! But this is a large model.

Bradley Smoker 33.5

Bradley Electric Smoker 33.5″ gives you more time for drinking


You could also look at a wood-fired smoker but hear me out first … an electric smoker takes the chore out of feeding the moster with logs or charcoal.  That can easily consume the day and really, it’s all about the sport, the beer, the games, the beer, your friends, the beer and the food …and the beer.  Not the slaving over a hot smoker. The Bradley Original Smoker makes home smoking a doddle (as they say in the UK). With an automatic wood feeder system and consistent, accurate temperature control, you achieve the perfect smoke without the argument with the machine. The automatic wood bisquette feeder system enables clean, continuous smoke for up to eight hours without re-fueling.  That’s enough time to drain the kegerator, no?

The interior is easily-cleaned stainless steel

Interior of the Bradley Smoker

Interior of the Bradley Smoker

The controls are at the side which makes them very accessible.  The Bradley site has lots of valuable hints and specifications.

We reviewed a full range of smokers and a few other accessories here.

There’s a lot of info and we do keep it updated as much as possible.  Let us know about any broken links or products that have had problems and we will follow it up straight away. Some suppliers remove products or have issues with supply and don’t let us know.

Games for The Homegate Party

Giant Yard Pong – a Massive version of Beer Pong

Giant Yard Pong for Homegating

Giant Yard Pong

Why settle for a normal sized Red Solo cup for a game of beer pong when you can have a set of these buckets? They are fun for the backyard game and wow, check out the expressions on the faces of your friends when you fill one with beer!  So you can get an idea of scale, here’s a photo of a whole set and how easy it is to transport it.

Yard Pong in carry bag

Yard Pong in carry bag

This is the classic game of beer pong only with a massive set up.  The buckets are sturdy and the balls float so it’s OK to take this to the beach or play around the pool.  Whether you drink that bucket of beer is up to you …

Giant Stacking Tower Drinking Game for Your Homegate Party

Giant Stacking Game with Drinking Instructions

Giant Stacking Game with Drinking Instructions

Here is that block stacking game with a twist.  Each of the 60 pieces of this stacking tower/tumbling game has a drinking instruction on it. It has a nifty carry bag so in theory, you CAN take this with you, but it is so large (up to 4 feet depending on whether you start it on an additional crate or not) that it really plays better at home.  Note that this is not Jenga nor affiliated in any way with that original game. But it is made of nice lumber and no splinters.

10 x 10 AB Canopy with Wheeled Carry Bag

Large Canopy

Large Canopy

Even for Homegating you may need some additional shelter or shade.  This range of canopies has umpteen colors to match your team and is easy to put up and take away.  In other words, you can transform your yard into a parking lot-style haven using this very practical splash of color to decorate and show your team spirit.  It also has its own leg weights so that the wind will not be a problem.   Start with this, a grill and a kegerator and work your way out with all the accessories you need to throw the best tailgate party ever but at home!

Ion Audio Job Rocker Bluetooth Speaker

Ion Audio Job Rocker Bluetooth Speaker

Ion Audio Job Rocker Bluetooth Speaker

Get a great audio speaker! This Ion Audio Job Rocker Bluetooth Speaker  ticks  all boxes for a tailgate party at home.  Great sound, it streams all your great sporty music via bluetooth including your streaming services.  It also has radio in FM & AM. Lots of outputs, and a 12V input jack so that you can charge this from your car.  It also has 2 power outlets for powering lights or gadgets, charging your phone.  Plus the battery will see you through for plenty of hours.  The orange color means it won’t get lost amongst your party gear and hey, you can also use it on site at work so it’s a tax deduction. Sort of.

Football Serving Tray – disposable.

Football Serving Tray

Football Serving Tray

I love these disposable tailgate party trays.  Ms. Rawhide bought some of these last year and filled them with snacks and goodies.  They are a perfect centerpiece. They are made of food-safe 400 gsm cardboard which is strong enough to hold any dry foods. Don’t fill them with dips – put a foil or plastic packet inside it or do as Ms. Rawhide does and use a Ziploc bag.

What do you like to do at your Homegate Party?  Let us know via the comments section and we will add them.  We will continue to update this article as we find specific products to recommend.

Happy Tailgate (Homegate) Partying!











Tips For The Best Tailgate Party Ever!

Check-lists can be the key to making your tailgate party the best tailgate party ever.  Veteran party animals have it down.  Make a really good check-list of tailgate party requirements, contents of your basic tailgate party kit and laminate it.  Leave some blank space at the base for last minute seasonal or temporary additions.  Cross off items as you pack them (Use a whiteboard marker).  Add things at the base of the list, such as special occasion foods or specific games. Use your smartphone or some paper and a pen, maybe a smart notebook.

Each tub, box or cooler should have its own contents list as well.  You’ll be amazed at how much easier this will make your day. Plan as much as you can in advance.

Ziploc bag your marinated steaks: Cheaper cuts of steaks seem to be more available in the stores on Wednesdays.  You can purchase them when cheap, rinse them and put each in a small Ziploc bag this size and refrigerate two days. Then freeze till game day.  Thaw the night before game day (in the fridge).  Just take out the steaks that are ‘ordered’ by your guests.  Don’t just cook the lot in one go. You can always cook more later in the day.

Ziploc bag your ribs: Pre cut and steam your pork ribs, then marinate in bags and if necessary, freeze till game day.  You can almost leave them that way till you arrive at the parking lot.  Put them in a lowish heat (covered) and cook till the flavor goes through and give them a last minute high blast to crisp up the outside (basting occasionally will also help).

Ziploc Sandwich Bag

Best Tailgate Party gear – Ziploc Sandwich Bag


Ziploc your fish: Say you have some pescavores in your party.  Take them some fish this way.  Pick a nice BBQ fish such as salmon or sword fish.  Cut it into serves.  Place each in a ziplock bag with a non-citrus marinade (the latter will pre-cook the fish and that would be disastrous).  Freeze till ready to party. Take it to the parking lot in its bag and remove from cooler an hour before cooking time.

Ziploc your Burgers: You can make burgers in advance up to ¾” thick and wide enough to fill the bag. Keep separate by using parchment or freezer paper.  Don’t defrost, just cook on BBQ 4-5 minutes side one and 3 -4 minutes side two from frozen state and the middle will stay juicy.

Check out the site rules. Do they allow flags?  Music? BBQs? Games? Check it out and you will be prepared.  If you are nearby and can zip down to the site and check it out, so much the better. Veteran tailgaters lay claim to a space and keep it for years.

Protect your booze: Keep the beer cool.  A layer of frozen water bottles, a layer or two of beer, a layer of frozen water on top (heat rises, cold falls) and your beer will stay frosty.  To avoid broken bottles, use dishcloths between layers.  You will use them on site.  Invest in a good quality cooler that can double as a seat or side table and wheels make it easy to position.

Avoid BBQ misery: Line your portable grill with aluminum foil for easy clean-up – there are some actual grill covers that will make this very simple as they are made exactly to fit the ribs on a BBQ rack.  Trim it if you have a petite BBQ and you can probably get 2 Weber BabyQ from one sheet.

Clean BBQ Disposable grill covers for your best tailgate party

Clean BBQ Disposable grill covers for your best tailgate party

Place a foil pan filled with a grease absorbent material beneath the grill top.

Freeze bottled water for your cooler: Buy water in square bottles and freeze it. Use these in your cooler instead of the freezer blocks. You can then have a decent supply of drinking water on hand. I have some refillable/recyclable square bottles and just fill from our water filter.  This also means that you will have less weight to take home as you can drink the water or use it for washing.

Modular containers: Make sure that all your items are packed in interchangeable modules.  It is really worth planning this out.  Tableware in a box with the napkins.  Games in their own container.  Plenty of room for coolers full of ale. Portable kegerator if you can do it.

Or growlers in a cooler.  I like the non-breakable steel ones.

Pack and store smart: Use large plastic tough storage bins that can double as seating to organize all of your tailgating gear.  If you can afford it, get the ones that can be wheeled. Something like this (as long as it fits in your car) is ideal as you can also see what is inside.

Best Tailgate Party ever - pack in wheelie plastic tubs

Best Tailgate Party ever – pack in wheelie plastic tubs

Pack chairs, canopy and other non-perishables in the car the night before.  Pick a comfy, multi-purpose chair. Just leave spaces for the coolers and perishable food.

Great tailgate party chair

Best tailgate party needs a great tailgate party chair

Set up right (and fast).

Location is vital for a successful tailgate party. Pick a good spot if you can but you will most likely be pointed in a specific direction and have no choice. However, if you do have choice, be selective:  park in the outer lanes as near to the exits as possible and when it is time to leave, you will be grateful.  Leaving fast will neatly cap off a good day as long as you are happy to take that fast paced walk to your car from the stadium.  You will avoid the exit gridlock altogether. When your friends arrive, they will be able to find you far easier. Place a flag on a pole next to your car.

Flagpole to Go for the best tailgate party

Flagpole to Go for the best tailgate party


This clever, collapsible flag pole can be used for portable or stationary purposes. Great for tailgating, its features include  4 Aluminum Telescoping Flagpole Sections Snap-Lock Sections that you lock together to the height desired and it can be used as In-Ground or Tire Mount.  It extends up to 19 ft. tall. For use with vehicles only.

Increase your visibility in the car park by raising a flag on your very own flagpole.  This is a lightweight aluminum demountable unit that is secured by your car. Won’t blow away in the wind but light to transport.

Then talk your buddies down!!!!! ‘We’re the Silverado with the tall Seahawk’s flag 3 rows from the west gate’ … easy!  Or give them a GPS reading.  Don’t let any of your guests waste good eating, drinking and gaming time by getting lost.

Spy out the toilet block.  You probably have done your homework on this.  Don’t be too near these but close enough to sprint there in an emergency!  There are usually rows of PortaPotties distributed through the parking lot. Don’t park right nearby, give it a row or two upwind.  You also want to avoid having the pee-lines anywhere near your party.

And a word on toilets: Campers will know that it is handy to have your own toilet.  Avoid the filth of the flooded and grubby porta-potties with their awful chemical whiff.

Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Complete Portable Toilet System

Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Toilet for your best tailgate system

Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Toilet for your best tailgate system

This is gold!  After eating Ma’s chili all morning, what could be better than this?  A full toilet in a tent, the system developed by NASA with plastic bags and solution to contain waste and wipes, it’s the kind used by the Armed Forces and packs into a small bag.  Super cheap and will give you years of service.  Need I say more?  If your site (or if there are a few of you together) has the space, this is a very inexpensive way to have comfort and convenience.  I would just advice putting a bit of ambient music nearby.  Just not the National Anthem. Oh, and anchor with some canopy weights.

Get a really great table and sink.

Deluxe Camping Kitchen Table

Deluxe Camping Kitchen and tailgating table

Deluxe Camping Kitchen and tailgating table


Here’s a camping kitchen setup that is a great way to adapt something designed for damping to tailgate parties.  So you have your portable bar, your grill, your cooler,  but this nifty setup has a sink, a stainless steel prep counter and shelves for everything.  Folds up into nothing for easy transport and is quick to set up. Has absolutely no negatives and is a good buy.  The good thing is that when you go to the Coachella festival, you can use it there as well.

Simple to Erect Canopy

Pop up that canopy and fly your flag at the top of your flagpole.  The quicker you can put up your canopy the faster your guests can kick back and relax.  The Colman is my favorite and includes 4 ultra-bright LED lights which operate from 4 x D batteries and can be dimmed from task to atmosphere illumination.  Very nice!

Best tailgate party - Coleman Canopy

Best tailgate party – Coleman Canopy

Note that the Coleman CPX 6 V Rechargeable Power Cartridge replaces the batteries and is a great backup source of simple power.  It has enough oomph to light up a Coleman lantern.

Best tailgate party - Coleman power pack replaces batteries

Best tailgate party – Coleman power pack replaces batteries

You can place a banner on top of the canopy or beside it and your guests can use it to orient themselves in the parking lot.

Car Locator App: Download it so that you don’t get lost.  I mean, after a beer or three, your navigational skills just may be lacking. So that trip to the bathroom could mean you miss the party!

Chairs, seating and furniture: While some of your guests may bring a chair so that they can relax at the tailgate party, you will need to supply something for seating and maybe a table.  You can use the tops of your storage tubs but a good drinking chair is hard to beat.  Choose one that can fold up to a small size. Some even have little tables attached and hanging pockets to stash phone, drinks, chip bags. See above – the Coleman chair is beautiful and functional as well.   Many of our articles review nifty folding tables and chairs to check them out.

Menu Hints

A simple menu is a better idea than someone having to spend all day fiddling with food.  Finger food shouldn’t be so messy that everyone gets mucky hands which they then transfer to your game equipment and so on.  Go for 2 meat items, some bread, 3 salads.  Chips and dips.  And maybe a dessert that you can either eat before the game or even after.  Coffee is handy too and if you are allowed to take it inside, do so.  You won’t have a dining table so choose food you can eat from a folding chair … skewered meats and vegetables are great.  Or just buy a rotisserie chicken on the way and tear it to shreds in the parking lot and serve it with the store’s trimmings!

Southern Living’s Tailgating Cookbook has some great ideas.


Charcoal may taste better but it’s hard to slow down the griller, dispose of the spent coals and packe away the BBQ and get the car packed up prior to the game. Gas is so much easier, less messy and less hazardous.  You don’t have to sacrifice taste – use some smoking chips and a layer of flavored rocks to impart the traditional taste.  Keep the BBQ to a size that makes sense.  You can find rigs to suit all needs but I like the tiny Cuisinart which easily has space for four hefty meals.

And the way we fit more meat onto its small space is to do it in relays.  Some people cook, others play games, others eat and so on.  But all the while, we play music and have fun.  No pressure!

Food Safety

Avoid foods that are easily perishable (eggy mayo, sour cream etc.) unless you have a dedicated cooler that remains shut when you are not delving it to it for goodies.  Don’t mix raw food and cooked food.  Don’t take leftovers home – just pitch them in the trash. Don’t over-cater.  After a day in the sun, most will not be safe to eat.  Trash bags are essential and a pack of antiseptic wipes will be handy.  You will also need bottled water for some routine hand washing.  Some caterers’ disposable food prep gloves are really useful (just be careful near the BBQ that you are not in melting distance).

Clean up the space as you go and also before you leave: Get lightweight, strong trash can that collapses to a flat disk for easy storage.  You line it with a 33 gal. bin bag.  22” x 28”, it can be washed and disinfected between uses. It will save you many trips to the parking lot trash containers. Take all trash with you.

Best Tailgate Party - Clean up as you go

Best Tailgate Party – Clean up as you go

Cool the BBQ before packing it away.  If you use charcoal, pour water over to cool it, wrap in foil and dispose of it in the correct parking lot receptacle (if they have one) or be sure it has been completely extinguished, cold and wet and pack in a metal (non flammable) box away from your fuel tank.  Be fire alert.

There should not even be a grease spot, piece of trash (or vomit trail ….) to mark where you have been.


Drink water, Alka Seltzer if you need it and don’t drive drunk.  A personal breathalyzer may be in order…But I don’t want to bring the party down.

Best tailgate party needs a personal breatalyzer

Best tailgate party needs a personal breatalyzer

So the bottom line is still ‘tailgate party on!’ Just be prepared for everything.










The Best Games, Gadgets & Music For Tailgate Partying! Update 2017.

A totally amazeballs tailgate party experience gets down to the host’s ability to figure out in advance everything that is needed.  Think comfort, effortless presentation but most of all, FUN.  You don’t want any aspect of the day to stress you out.  (Awwww gee, maybe the game can cause a bit of angst if you’re backing the wrong team) …

We’ve got a heap of it covered at the Tailgate Party Site but here are a few of the more unusual things you could invest in to rock your tailgate party.

Play A Game

1. The PDGA Approved Deluxe Disc Golf set.

PDGA Approved Deluxe Disc Golf Set

Deluxe Disc Golf Set

If you have a bit of space in your site, then add Disc golf to your party games.

It is played kinda like traditional golf. Balls and clubs are replaced by flying discs, or Frisbees®. People played this for years but in the 1970s the rules became standardized. The object is to progress around each ‘hole’ in as few throws as possible starting with a ‘tee’ area and ending at the target (‘hole’) which can be one of a number of disc golf targets, such as a Pole Hole® which is an elevated metal basket.   Otherwise, it’s the same as golf, the landscape or area played in providing the obstacles and challenges.  There are no snobby green jackets, no caddies needed (yaaay no tip there) no massive club fees, no age or sex limits and in most places, it is free to play or to practice.

You can play this around the whole car-park or your garden or in a park.  As a player progresses down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive shot from the spot where the previous throw has landed. The trees, shrubs, and terrain changes located in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for the disc-golfer. When the disc lands in the basket, the hole is completed and player #2 begins at the starting point.  Instructions are on the package and there are some great YouTube demos as well and these pros make our drunken efforts look … well, like the drunken efforts that they are.

Scare Off The Bugs

2. Thermocell Portable Mosquito Repeller

So you’re tailgating down in the car-park of, say, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and out come the flies and mosquitoes spoiling your BBQ and stinging your guests.  Here’s a really effective way to beat the bugs.  It’s a portable mosquito repeller that provides relief from the airborne pests in any outdoor situation.  It’s around the size of half a drink can, is cordless and sends out a safe, subtle scent to repel mosquitoes, gnats, and midges.  No more spraying chemicals.  Just put it on your patio table.  I also like to put one under the table to protect bare legs and ankles.  Coverage is 15 feet square feet.  The Thermocell butane cartridge will last for around 12 hours protecting your fellow tailgaters from nasty bites. Insect mats last 4 hours.  You get 3 in a pack.

Bring Your Own Music!

3. ION Audio IPA17 TAILGATER AM/FM Lightweight Speaker System for iPOD

Ion Tailgater AM_FM Portable Speaker with iPod dock

Ion Tailgater AM_FM Portable Speaker with iPod dock

You need music at any party.  The best way is to play off your special tailgate party mix on your iPod or iPhone. Here’s a great iPod Dock speaker system with an eight hour battery (with level indicator) and a sound that will fill your tailgate party space.  It has inputs for microphones and other audio sources so that your crowd can belt out those team songs.

Comparable with the Bose unit, the Pioneer unit and the Bowers/Wilkins Unit it is cheaper and without the stellar sound of those three, but performs well enough whether outdoors or in the man cave.  Very portable and sturdy, kind of industrial looking rather than glamorous but that’s OK with me and it’s light enough to carry using one of the handles rather than both (which is a bit awkward).  You can run it while plugged in or for 8 hours battery.  The AM/FM tuner is a bit of a bust as it takes a while to set it and doesn’t save stations or have presents but you could use your iPhone as the radio and use an input instead. This is the old model so is incredibly barganacious at the moment and will give you a few seasons before you need to replace it.


If you want the grand-daddy version, have a look at the…


4. ION Audio Block Rocker Rechargeable Wireless Speaker

Ion Audio Block Rocker with Lights

Ion Audio Block Rocker with Lights

The difference between the Block Rocker and the Tailgater is that this rechargeable battery lasts 12 hours and the sound, well, I guess it can be heard all round a neighborhood block.  It’s portable and the sound is beefy enough for all massive scale tailgate parties, BBQs, neighborhood events, weddings and anything.  It’s not too strong on the bass, but that probably means the battery life is longer and also your neighbors won’t totally hate you.

So big, it needs wheels.  The AM/FM radio and antenna can be tuned to the Game of the Day and keep everyone informed just in case the party keeps you from actually getting inside to the game.  Just note that there is no control to save your station selections.  It just has to be scrolled through again from the start. Ugh!

Great performance and value for money and has independent volume controls for all sources. Tough as nails with metal edges to protect from dings.

90 day warranty.
Note:  Allow the unit to drain the battery totally before recharging.  This will protect it and give you a better unit life. Read the instructions carefully.

5. Riva Turbo X Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

Riva Turbo X Wireless Speaker

Riva Turbo X Wireless Speaker

OK, so from the biggest, to this compact and sleek little speaker.  It operates via Bluetooth so no need for a dock for an iPod.  Just link to the iPod you stash in your picnic set.   It is not even 6” in length and around 9.1 x 4.1 x 3.5 inches and weighs 3 pounds.  Sweet!

Perfect stereo sound for your tailgate party and the sound won’t blast your neighbor sites into kingdom come.  The battery lasts 26 hours and is rechargeable (Lithium-ion battery).  It is very compact but has a volume that is excellent for the tailgating party.

It comes in a wide range of colors so you can select one to match your team logo!

USB charge port for charging other devices& USB data port.

Speakerphone with noise & echo cancellation technology

You can connect with 2 devices at a time so you can double up your music library.

Choose The Right Tailgate Party Songs!

6. Top Twenty Sports Songs For Tailgate Parties

Ok, so now you have your great speaker, what music do you want to feature at your tailgate party?  Here’s a list for your reference!  You can get these all from iTunes.

20           Kenny Chesney – “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems”

19           Craig Morgan – “Redneck Yacht Club”

18           Brad Paisley – “Alcohol”

17           Joe Nichols – “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off”

16           Jason Aldean – “She’s Country”

15           Trace Adkins – “Swing”

14           Alan Jackson – “Good Time”

13           Big & Rich – “Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)”

12           Zac Brown Band – “Toes”

11           Billy Currington – “Pretty Good At Drinkin’ Beer”

10           Toby Keith – “I Love This Bar”

9              Gretchen Wilson – “Here For The Party”

8              Billy Currington – “People Are Crazy”

7              Hank Williams, Jr. –“All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight”

6              Eric Church – “Smoke A Little Smoke”

5              Zac Brown Band – “Chicken Fried”

4              Trace Adkins – “Ladies Love Country Boys”

3              Jason Aldean – “My Kinda Party”

2             Alan Jackson – “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”

1.             Blake Shelton – “The More I Drink”

(These are as voted by the GAC network fans in August 2013.)

My two bonus picks are:

Deaf Havana – “Nicotine and Alcohol Saved my Life”

Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs – “Most People I know Think that I’m Crazy”.

7. Classic Collection from that icon of taste, Larry the Cable Guy.

Larry the Cable Guy

Larry the Cable Guy

Just go the whole hog and buy the Tailgate music collection from Larry the Cable Guy.  Self-explanatory.  Very appropriate.  Politically incorrect.  To inspire you, just think about these classic, uplifting and motivating tracks:

‘Prostate Professional’, ‘Half Cocked’, ‘Boob Tube’, ‘Male Enhancement’ – ahhh, that’s sure to get the party started.

Larry Cable Guy Tailgate Party CD

Tailgate Party CD - Larry The Cable Guy

Tailgate Party CD – Larry The Cable Guy

Finally, how about a bit of a disguise?  You may want to at some tailgate parties.

Here are some suggestions and you may want to haul these out for tailgate parties at horse racing events:


8. Magical Unicorn Mask

Magical Unicorn Mask

Magical Unicorn Mask

Nothing says you’re here to have a magic time than a Magical Unicorn Mask.  A bit eerie, but there’s still space for a beer bong in that cavernous mouth.  Made of latex, can be cleaned depending on just exactly what you intend doing in the mask.  It has a full head with a confronting stare. Air any of these masks out well before wearing to minimize the rubber smell and if you have a latex allergy, give them a miss. Please remove it while driving.  Unicorns are not eligible to pass a DMV test.


9. Horse Head Mask

Horse Head Mask

Horse Head Mask

More into horses than unicorns? Then here’s an awesome one which is not just suited to wear at, say, The Dallas Cowboys, the Denver Broncos games but also for horse racing events:



10. Pig Head Mask

Pig Head Mask

Pig Head Mask

Look, I’m the last person to point the finger, foam or otherwise, but some people just should be made to wear this mask.  As the sellers say, ‘We recommend this mask while grilling at your BBQ this summer or just ordering at the butcher counter.’  It’s worth checking this mask out just to read the witty reviews …

Finally, just remember that in the words of the philosopher, Homer – that’s Homer Simpson –

“We’re not here for the game. The game is nothing. The game is crap. The game makes me sick. The real reason we Americans put up with sports is for this: Behold, the tailgate party. The pinnacle of human achievement. Since the dawn of parking lots, man has sought to fill his gut with food and alcohol in anticipation of watching others exercise.”


The Best Lighting Ideas For The Tailgate Party

As much of our sporting events are held in the winter months, you have to think about brightening up the space where your tailgate party is to be held.  As well, many games are held at night. There’s nothing more gloomy than a drab site and it is impossible to get that tailgate party vibe in the dark.

Portable Light For The Grill

Don’t cook in the dark – light up the barbecue grill.  There are plenty of lights on the market – some clamp on and others have little spot lights that can be held on with magnets.  But a Pedestal Grill Light will illuminate the whole space.

Pedestal Grill Light

Pedestal Grill Light

A wide magnetic base allows it to sit on the side table of any grill and its 4 high intensity led lights illuminate the entire grilling surface.  Depending on where you place them, you can entirely avoid worker shadow.  It’s important to see what you are cooking – especially the riskier meats such as chicken and turkey and some of the mixed-meat sausages and burgers.

The compact design works with 3 AAA batteries (included) but do bring along a spare set of batteries just in case of failure.  When you buy ‘batteries included’, you really don’t have any idea of their shelf life.

Even though this light will illuminate the entire grill, for extra efficiency, I would recommend two, one for each side (for a large BBQ area). One should be heaps for your compact portable grill.  Being magnetic, it will stay on the BBQ where you want it and is not dependent on any flimsy clamps or the need to angle the light.

MSRP = $24.97

Have A Good Power Source

Most lights can only be strung up if you have a power source.  Some lights have their own batteries.  Check this before you go.  If you are going to use the power from your car’s cigarette lighter, for instance, be careful not to end up with a flat battery.  Oh, and make sure the connection matches the one on your light.

No power?  You can buy a power pack that has a 12 volt outlet and this will run your lights for the party.  This handy device is great for camping and tailgating and means that you can be free to park in any place and will never be without power.

Schumacher PSJ-2212

Schumacher PSJ-2212

Here’s the technical info:
2200 peak amperes, 330 cranking ampere and 275 cold cranking amperes
22 Ah professional grade, high output AGM battery
12 Volt DC power outlet (Note you will need an adaptor to plug your lights in.  This outlet is similar to the cigarette lighter in the car and you need a 2 pin normal plug.
3 ampere built-in, automatic charger
Heavy duty clamp have replaceable copper jaws
Gives you around 8 hours of continuous power on one charge for a set of lights or a few months of jump starting a car.  You can also hook up a tire pump to it in case of a flat so it is a really useful gadget to have in your toolshed.

Price: $117.28

So now you have power – hook up some lights – and you have the choice between battery operated ones and ones that need to be plugged in.

Fun Lights For The Tailgate Party

Red cup string lights are totally tailgate-worthy. The cups are small, around the size of a shot glass.  Many guys like to string these across their bars and that normally takes two or three sets which can be joined together.  If you invest in one of those smart demountable bars, (such as this one Best of Times Patio Bar and Tailgating Center Deluxe Package) these would make it look amazing.  They are a little fragile so pack them carefully after use for the next tailgate party.

Best news of all is that these are battery powered.

Red Cup String Lights

Red Cup String Lights

MSRP = $9.85

These Football Helmet Lights do need to be plugged in but they are so cute that you’ll want to buy a few sets.  They feature the team logo football helmet lights of your favorite NFL team so make sure you order the set you want and specify the team. Each 12 ft. strand contains 10 team logo helmet globes and I am thinking that 4 sets would be a great decoration for your tailgate parties or home-patio decorations.

MSRP = $12.99

Football Helmet Lights

Football Helmet Lights

If you want the ultimate in personalized lighting then this is the perfect product for you. Totally customizable you can make this all about your team or all about you! Makes the best welcome statement ever.  It does need to be plugged in so make sure you have a power supply.

It’s built from the highest quality clear acrylic plastic and lighting.  This is a personalized sign, and you need to inform the seller exactly the name and details you want to engraved in your sign, for example Peter/ Peter’s etc. with the correct punctuation, upper or lower case and any other details.

If you need a color other than the one shown in this photo, do specify that in your order, for instance, team colors.
The seller provides a plug with default voltage according to your country’s standard.
110v to: USA & CA 240v to: UK, France, Germany, European and other countries.
Approximate size: W 12″x H 9″ (W 300mm x H 220mm). Over 92.8% sign’s contents are in the scale of 1:1 to 1:1.34 (height : width), 12″ x 9″ which scale is 1:1.334 is the best scale

Carved with the latest 3D, Surface and Line engraving technologies (attractive in all directions).

This is super cool !  Needs to be plugged in, but you could easily adapt its switch to a battery pack or plug into your car’s cigarette lighter. A nice little welcome  sign to put by your door for your man-cave based tailgate party or to feature on your bar in the car park.  You can have anything put on there, so be creative!

MSRP = $39.99

Tailgate Party Custom Neon Sign

Tailgate Party Custom Neon Sign

You’ll only get a couple of tailgate parties out of a set of these as they only last 15 – 20 hours but they are totally awesome fun! Then, unless you want to keep them unlit to keep drinks cool, throw them out!  The internal battery is not replaceable. Simple push-button on/off mode selection switch.

You can set them to Rainbow mode, plus they can be locked in one of the numerous solid colors and I would pick one that matches the team logo.
They are made of high quality FDA approved clear acrylic and filled with freezable gel similar to the inside of cooler bricks.  The great thing about them is that they keep your drink cold while flashing in a color of your choice. They look really good in your own see-through jug or pitcher of drink.

Also, all your tailgating party buds can choose a cube and set a different color so they always know which drink is theirs.

For what they are and for just 15-20 hours of battery life, they seem a bit expensive and, as they are used actually IN your drinks, you have to be 100% sure that they will not leak.  Check each cube carefully before your guests use them – test each out.  If you get any duds in the set, send them back and get a refund.

Flashing LED Multi-Color Freezable Ice Cubes

Flashing LED Freezable Ice Cubes

MSRP = $28.16

Some of my friends invested in a portapotty/Portable Toilet.  They bring it to some of the bigger car parks (well packed in a box) and erect it in its own little pop-up privacy tent, filling it with the necessary chemicals and water.  You’d be surprised at the (envious and sometimes needy) people who you meet this way, but that’s another story.  It saves a lot of walking to the restrooms.  Anyway, even though the light can shine through the waterproof fabric, it can be a bit dark on gloomy days so I bought a couple of Motion Activated Battery Powered Safety Lights and they are awesome.  When people use the john, these little beauties light up automatically.  When it is lit, everyone knows it is occupied.  Now I am working on a motion activated iPod with some loud music to substitute for the courtesy flush.

•    Osram Sylvania No. 72178 SylWHT motion-activating light
•    1 bright white LED, on/off/auto switch, on for 12 seconds when motion activated
•    Head rotates up and down and side to side, 13-feet and 130-degree detection range
•    Comes with three AAA batteries, indoor and outdoor use
•    Dimensions: 4.5 inches tall by 2.5 inches wide by 2 inches deep
Price: $11.19

Note that it has a hole for a screw but as you are installing in a fabric tent, such as for a toilet cubicle on the go, just use this to attach using some cord, a velcro strap or a carabiner.

Motion Activated Battery Powered Safety Light

Sylvania 72178

If you’re looking to mark out your tailgate territory or set some boundaries the NFL Fan Zone Floor Stand is for you!

Battery operated, the red flashing light at the top of a caution stand warns the competition to make way for the diehard fans!
They come in all team logo designs.

Perfect for tailgating, dorm room, bedroom or office. This one is a two-sided New England Patriots design but you can find your teams easily. Product stands 30 inches tall with flashing light attached which draws attention to your next sport outing. Officially Licensed by the NFL. Batteries not included.

Use a couple to mark out your territory at the next game!

NFL "Fan Zone" Floor Stand

NFL “Fan Zone” Floor Stand

Tailgate Party Tape

Tailgate Party Tape

Tie some Party Tape around your tailgate party area and you’re all set to let the fun begin!