Tailgate parties are social gatherings held in parking lots before and after events. Attendees use open car doors for seating and access to food and drinks. Tailgating can develop a reputation over time, and some events don’t allow it. It’s important to check the rules and limit alcohol consumption.
A tailgate party is a type of social gathering held in parking lots before — and often after — an event such as a concert, football game, baseball game, or other attraction. Attendees use open car doors for impromptu seating and access to ice chests, food, folding chairs, and other party necessities.
People with similar interests gather at a tailgate party to mingle and celebrate the event they attend. The party could be located in a certain area of the parking lot where people spontaneously gather around the queuing vehicles. At other events, the collection includes virtually the entire parking lot.
For events with an established history of tailgating, partygoers may arrive hours before the event starts. Attendees often bring miniature barbecue grills and many ice chests with their favorite libations. Queue enthusiasts might even opt to bring an RV for access to a kitchen, refrigerator, and convenient bathroom.
In some cases, a recurring party connected to an event can grow to develop a reputation over the years that rivals that of the event itself. That was the case with the longest touring band in history, the Grateful Dead. For decades, devoted fans or Deadheads have followed the band across the United States, many of whom have found homes in the events surrounding the concerts. The Deadheads who followed the band supported themselves by selling merchandise, jewelry, tie dye, incense, food, and a variety of other items during the party, which resembled a massive traveling show.
A tailgate party is a great way to celebrate with strangers who quickly become friends, even if it’s just for a day. Some events don’t allow tailgating, as the management company that controls the parking lot may prohibit alcohol or loitering. This can result in a hefty fine, so event-goers should make sure to check the rules before attending. It’s also wise for people to limit alcohol consumption at the party leading up to the event, unless a designated driver is available for the ride home.