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Here in the South, college football is a religion. Likewise, we take our tailgating very seriously. We’re known as the hospitality state, so the name of the game is not just to put on a delicious spread, but make a passersby feel welcome.
At most universities in Mississippi, tailgating is done on large grassy areas on campus. Instead of actual tailgates, we have tents. Food, tables and decorations have to be carried in. It’s always better to have a college age son who can haul your loot to your spot, but a few collapsible wagons and cooler on wheels like the adorable Hamptons Picnic Cooler For Four helps too. Walk through one of these tent cities that pop up on game day and you’ll see brightly colored tablecloths, floral arrangements, maybe even a chandelier. I told you, we’re serious.
Open flames aren’t allowed on campus here, so no grills. Food has to be prepared ahead of time and is a mixture of items that don’t spoil easily, like Mini Muffuletta sandwiches, or that can be kept warm with the help of a chafing dish and can of Sterno. Moving from tent to tent to visit old and new friends is an important part of the day, so serving finger foods that can be eaten-on-the-go, such as Game Day Bacon and Cheese Potato Skins, are always a good idea.
Since people will come and go throughout the day, having a few serving items set up where people can help themselves will make guests feel welcome. The Cambridge Shiloh Rustic Galvanized Party Beverage Tub is ideal for serving bottled beverages or food items on ice. With the Three-Tier Acrylic Beverage Dispenser, you can offer lemonade, iced tea, and punch simultaneously (and since it’s acrylic, you don’t have to worry about someone knocking into it and shattering glass).
At the end of the day, it’s important to relax and have fun. I hope a few if these ideas will help you put on the best tailgate spread ever.
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