Tailgate parties are all about having fun, supporting the Carolina Panthers, and enjoying great food and beverages! Your recipe for a successful tailgate party is pretty simple. Here’s what you’ll need:
- unconditional love for the Carolina Panthers
- a few hours before a Panthers game
- satisfying food and beverages
- friends and family who love tailgating and the Panthers as much as you do
The Parking Lot Party
Prepare ahead of time. Do as much as possible the day before your party. Many food items can be made ahead. Pack the grill, cooking utensils, folding tables/chairs, napkins, paper plates, cups, garbage bags, hand wipes, and other necessities. Most “professional” tailgaters recommend allowing 3-4 hours before the game in order to have plenty of time to set up, cook, eat, and clean up. On game day, pack your food and beverage coolers, load your vehicle, and head to the game. Prepare the food yourself or have friends and family bring dishes to share.
Here are some of our favorite tailgating foods:
- grilled meat–smoked sausage, pork, chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs
- sandwiches–sliders, subs, and wraps
- loaded nachos
- hot and cold dips–onion, spinach, and artichoke dips, taco and chicken wing dip, salsa and guacamole, served with baguette, pita, crackers, chips, and tortillas
- ice-cold beverages–water, soda, beer, wine, and mixed drinks
The Home Party
You don’t need to leave the comfort of home to host a great tailgate party. Sports fans with young children may prefer to enjoy game-day festivities from home. There are several advantages to this. You have more room and time to prepare your food, you can stay at the party and watch the game at the same time, and you don’t need to worry about the weather. You don’t even need to hire a babysitter.
When your tailgate party is at home, the menu can be anything you want. Pizza and wings are always popular, but you can also grill, make sandwiches, or even serve comfort foods like lasagne and chili. If you don’t want to do all the food preparation, have guests bring their favorite dips/appetizers/desserts and you can supply the main courses. A casual buffet lets your guests help themselves. Keep drinks handy in coolers or large buckets filled with ice. Set up containers for trash and recyclables to make clean-up easier.