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May 27, 2021Now Trending

How To Plan The Best Tailgate Party

As you know, American Tent is located right in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Can you guess what that means? The answer is… Packer game tailgates! No matter what team you are rooting for, NFL games are a breeding ground for fun times and wild tailgate parties.

Whether you are a big sports fan, a food fanatic, or if you just enjoy a good party, you are bound to have a great time at the stadium surrounded by your friends and family! We have a few tips that we thought we would share on how to throw the best tailgate party that your guests will remember for years to come.

What Is a Tailgate Party

Many people immediately think of the NFL when they think of tailgates, but you can really throw a tailgate party anywhere! According to Webster’s dictionary, a tailgate is “a party in which people serve food and drinks from the back end of their vehicles, usually in a parking lot before or after a major public event.”

When you're planning a tailgate party, you have to think about protecting your guests from the hot sun, rain, or whatever other circumstances arise on the day of the event. Our favorite tailgate party idea is to get a tailgate tent canopy to provide cover and keep everybody comfortable, which we’ll get into shortly.

How to Prepare for a Tailgate Party

Food and Snacks

Food and Snacks for a Tailgate Party

By Webster’s definition of a tailgate, food and snacks are a must! Your tailgate menu items may depend on where you are throwing your tailgate party. Everywhere you go has different food specialties (AHEM… Wisconsin cheese curds, for example), so we have provided a list with a wide variety of food and snack options.

Starters / Snacks

  • Pretzels and Cheese
  • French fries
  • Cheese curds
  • Snack mix
  • Assorted fruits and veggies
  • Chips

Classic Main Dishes

  • Hamburgers and veggie burgers
  • Hot dogs/brats
  • Steaks
  • Kebab


  • Cookies decorated with frosting in your team’s colors
  • Grilled banana boats
  • Chocolate
  • Popsicles

You should try to prepare as much of your food as possible in advance. This will make the process much less stressful since you’ll have plenty of extra food for people to eat while they wait for you to finish grilling the main course!

Cool Your Drinks

Cold Drinks Tailgate Party

There’s nothing worse than going to grab a drink and realizing that all of your beverages have been left in the sun. Keep your drinks cold by bringing coolers! Fill your cooler with ice, drop in your favorite drinks, and pour in some water. You can add in some salt as well to make the cooling process even faster--trust us, it works!

Drink Ideas

  • Plenty of water!
  • Soft drinks
  • Fruit punch
  • Beer/seltzers (for those 21+)

Learn How to Pack and Transport Food and Beverages

First, pack your cooler. Make sure you put drinks and other cans on the bottom and small containers and bagged foods on the top of the ice to avoid crushing them. Of course, some food does need to be kept warm. An insulated food carrier is perfect for those items, and if you are lucky enough to have a power source near your spot, then you can even bring in a small portable oven.

Prepare Your Grill and Grill Accessories 

Grill for a Tailgate Party

It’s not a proper tailgate without some grilling out! Since there’s no doubt that you’ll be firing up the grill, you want to make sure you have everything you need. You definitely don’t want to be out, ready to grill, and realize you don’t have all the supplies.

Essential Grilling Equipment:

  • Grill - well, of course!
  • Charcoal (depending on the type of grill you have)
  • Grill scraper
  • Grill basket
  • Skewers
  • Tongs
  • Spatulas
  • Basting brush
  • Thermometer

Check That You Don’t Forget Anything 

One of the easiest ways to make sure you have everything you need is to create a checklist for yourself. Check out the link below for a checklist of items we put together, so you don’t forget anything! Download tailgate party checklist here!

Prepare Your Spot

Prepare Your Spot for a Tailgate Party

In order for your tailgate party to be successful, you need to make sure to find a nice spot. It helps to have two cars drive up together and park next to each other in the venue lot to ensure you will have enough space for everyone. The best and most common way to mark your tailgating territory is to get a tailgate canopy. You can purchase a trustworthy tailgating canopy party tent from American Tent, and we will help you make the most of your party. Not only will it solidify your tailgating spot as a placeholder, but it will also provide shelter for your guests to enjoy and sit beneath comfortably.

What Tent Is Better for Your Tailgate Party

When it comes to tailgating shelter, American Tent has you covered. One lovely option we offer is a pop-up tailgate tent. Pop-up tents are lightweight, making them quick to set up and easy to transport. These can also be easily paired with sidewalls. A tailgate tent with sides can be good for a couple of reasons. First, adding tent sidewalls will create more privacy for you and your group, which can be comforting to your guests. No one likes to look over and realize they’re getting stared down by a rival group across the parking lot. You can also opt for sidewalls with windows if you would still like some visibility outside the tent.

Second, having sidewalls on your tent is useful because it can help keep out wind and rain. While you can do your best to prepare, there’s no telling what turns the weather may take at any moment. If you get caught in a bit of a rainshower, having sidewalls on your tailgate pop-up canopy can make all the difference.

Tent Tailgate Party

After experiencing your delicious food, cold beverages, and beautiful party tent, everyone will come to you for advice on how to plan a tailgate party! Make your tailgate party one to remember and contact us at American Tent for more information on tent options!

Tony Ehrbar's headshot

Tony Ehrbar

Owner & CEO

Tony's entrepreneurial spirit is woven into the fabric of American Tent (an Inc 5000 company), shaped by his experience running a successful event venue & tent rental service. His recognition as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019 is a testament to his impact & dedication to his community. As the Co-founder and CEO of Renegade Plastics, Tony is leading initiatives in the tent industry to integrate eco-friendly, recyclable materials. Contributing as a board member for the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) & the Green Bay Area Public Schools Foundation and being featured by Entrepreneur, Oracle, & Modern Weddings, Tony plays a pivotal role in enhancing the growth and success of the textile industry.

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