Tailgate parties. Gone are the days of simply bringing a sandwich and a six-pack to consume on the back of someone’s pickup truck before the game. People now throw elaborate parties which might not only be a pre-game celebration, but a party for fellow fans lasting throughout the game! We found some tips to help ensure you and your friends will have the best Tailgate experience.


  1. Make a list and prepare as much as possible the night before the game. Bottle Openers? Check!
  2. Make sure you are aware of any rules and regulations on tailgating for your event. Are you allowed to grill? Music okay?
  3. Cook as much as you can before arriving. You don’t want to spend the entire party behind a grill.
  4. Hang a paper towel roll from the car or tent struts using a bungee cord.
  5. Don’t forget a phone charger!
  6. Bring more trash bags to your tailgate than you think you’ll need. Sometimes trash bags become ponchos.
  7. Making a dish you want to serve warm? Use bricks to prop up a pan above a Sterno can to heat the pan from below.
  8. Looking for an easy hot dish? Try our Pulled Pork Sandwich with Mango Barbeque Sauce! s://www.hardings.com/recipes/recipe-details/7411/
  9. Always tailgate with a clean grill grate. Forgot your brush? Grab some foil. Crumple it up, pinch it with tongs, and scrub away. Better yet, clean & oil your grill grate before game day. Otherwise food is going to stick.
  10. Mason Jars are awesome! Make chili, walking tacos, cocktails, etc; store and serve it in Mason jars!
  11. Game day grilled corn: Pull down the outer husks and remove the silk. Fold the husks back up and soak in water for 10 minutes. Grill.
  12. Know what potato salad from the Harding’s Deli looks like in a bowl? Potato salad that no one has to know came from the Harding’s Deli! Save yourself some time!
  13. Form burger patties the night before and freeze between wax paper to save time. Throw them straight on the grill.
  14. Set up a DIY toppings bar so people can customize their hot dogs.
  15. Chili is the ultimate tailgate food. Delicious on its own, and better when combined with hot dogs, burgers, nachos, or baked potatoes.
  16. Slaw goes great with your pulled pork sandwich. It’s even better when it comes from Harding’s Deli! Save yourself some time!
  17. Serve specialty drinks in your team’s colors with matching cupcake liner lids to keep insects out.
  18. Freeze colored water balloons as spirited replacement for ice cubes!
  19. Make sure your guests stay hydrated. Frozen bottles of water will keep items in the cooler cold, and provide ice cold water to drink!
  20. Need to hands to eat your sandwich? Attach magnets to Koozies! Just attach your drink to the car while you are biting in!
  21. Use cardboard six-pack containers to hold condiments, napkins, silverware, etc. Easy to pass, easy to organize.
  22. Make it easy for friends to find you. Tie helium balloons or flags to your car/tent to help identify your spot.
  23. Pop up or folding hampers make perfect Garbage Bins.
  24. An empty laundry detergent container with a spigot, filled with water and a little soap makes a convenient hand washing station.
  25. Empty apple sauce or baby food pouches make easy disposable beverage flasks.
  26. Want a super easy Tailgate solution? Order party trays from Harding’s Deli online and pick them up on your way to the game! http://hardings.shoptocook.com/store/