It's my favorite time of the year, FOOTBALL SEASON. I love the sport of football, but more than anything I love tailgating with my family and friends. Here are some tailgating tips I've learned over the years.

1.) Always be sure to bring PLENTY of food and beverages.

There is nothing worse than running out of food or beverages at a tailgate party. Always plan for extra people to show up you didn't expect (and it would be rude not to offer them a plate!), you can always pack the extra food/drink back up and take it home with you.

2.) Make a checklist and make sure everybody knows what they're responsible for bringing. Double check with them BEFORE you make the trip to your favorite tailgate spot to make sure nobody has forgot anything.

My brother is terrible at forgetting things he's supposed to bring, so I always call him the night before to go over the checklist with him. It helps me as well, since I'm going over my list at the same time. Nothing wrong with making sure everyone is on the same page. Beats trying to get through game day traffic to try and find a convenience store and paying $5.00 for a $2.00 jar of mayo.

3.) Be respectful to the grounds you're tailgating on and those around you.

Our tailgate parties are usually a little louder than most. We bring a sound system, have generators running, etc. We're usually the first on the lot and the last to leave, so those coming into where we're tailgating usually know right off the bat we're where the party is at and they can choose to park next to us or not. We always make sure we go up to anyone who parks near us to let them know that if our music gets too loud or any of our bunch gets out of hand to please let us know. It's just the respectful thing to do. Most times, our neighbors will come join us. Show respect for your neighbors and they (most of them) will show respect for you. And ALWAYS pick up your own trash (go back to rule #2.. don't forget the trash bags!!). (Note: if you bring a generator, make sure it's one of the quiet running ones!)


4.) Bring chairs!

We always bring extra's, because there is ALWAYS someone who comes to our tailgate party who neglects to bring their own.  Rookies..


5.) Plan entertainment!

You've got your food, your beverages, your chairs... now what? Sitting around talking with your friends and family is fun, but we always try to have a few things for people to do at our tailgate parties. Whether it be horse shoes (where allowed), ring toss, beer pong, music for a little dancing, those attending your tailgate party will appreciate being able to choose between sitting and talking or getting up and doing something. Bringing a tv is a given.

The cool thing about tailgating is.. you don't even have to be at the game to do it! If there's a game we can't make, we have our own backyard tailgate party. We try to set things up like we would if we were in Fayetteville or Little Rock. It's all about getting together with friends and family and showing your support for your favorite team!

Tailgating Necessities: Food, beverages, ice, plenty of plates, cups and cutlery, napkins, condiments, bottle/can opener, a good kitchen knife, trash bags, some sort of folding table, a tv (and a way to power it!), chairs and a football!

Not necessarily necessities, but always good to bring: A pop up tent for shade, grill for cooking on site (gas is best. The cheap $20.00 propane grills at Wal-Mart work great for smaller tailgate parties), games like ring toss or horse shoes, team flags and extra tables for food, tv, etc.

Happy tailgating and GO HOGS!!