The University of Alabama

UA Matters: Five Must-Haves for Planning the Perfect Tailgate Party

uamatters_logo 2Need a hand planning that perfect tailgating party this football season? Here are some tips from The University of Alabama’s Suzanne Mohler that will help your party stand out among the rest.

  • Make sure to create a fun atmosphere. Whether it is custom coasters, decorative beverage pieces — personalized flags for your straws or custom beverage stirrers — or a fresh arrangement of seasonal flowers, create a feeling of home that welcomes your guests. Also, make sure to carry the theme throughout your tailgate party. The little details never go unnoticed.
  • Beverage Bar: Not excited about an early 11 a.m. kickoff? Add some flair with a mimosa bar. Make sure to have several fresh juices (cranberry, orange, pineapple) to mix in with your favorite bottle of bubbly. Complete the bar with an assortment of fresh fruit to pair with those mimosas.

    Suzanne Mohler is the  South Director with Crimson Tide Hospitality at The University of Alabama

    Suzanne Mohler

  • Don’t forget the pre-game activities. You’ll want to keep your guests in tune to what the scores are that day, so don’t forget to have the TV ready and even have a game schedule of all the big teams playing that day. To cater to those guests who don’t want to watch football all day, have a couple of games of corn-hole ready to stir up some competitive energy between guests.
  • Create memories and traditions. Make sure to have the camera ready to capture the day. To make things better, send those pictures to your guests through email later that weekend. Also, have a give-away for your guests to take home later, maybe a personalized koozie or a bag of homemade goodies with a personalized label. It will give your guests a fun “memento” from their visit with you.
  • Food is king. The menu of the tailgate party is always the most important piece to your game-day puzzle. Make sure to offer a little something for everyone. For instance, if you are doing a shrimp boil, have a chicken or beef appetizer for the guests who might not love seafood. Appetizers are a must. Between hot dips, fresh fruit and yummy pick-ups, your guests will be sure to walk away with a full belly from your party. Don’t forget to add cute labels to your menu so your guests don’t have to play the guessing game. The menu cards can also tie into your tailgate theme.

Mohler is the south director with Crimson Tide Hospitality and a UA adjunct instructor who teaches Event Marketing.

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UA Matters is a weekly posting that offers information and tips on consumer issues facing Alabamians. The information is available to reprint in your publication free of charge. Also, access to subject matter experts is available upon request. For more information, contact Kim Eaton at 205/348-8325 or kkeaton@ur.ua.edu>.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.