Tailgate Party Etiquette: What You Need to Know Before and After College Football Games

Tailgating before and after college football games is a popular tradition that brings fans together to celebrate their favorite teams. It’s a time to enjoy good food, drinks, music, and camaraderie with fellow tailgaters. However, with so many people in one place, it’s important to understand the etiquette around tailgating to ensure everyone has a good time.

Tailgate Party Etiquette

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One of the most important aspects of tailgating etiquette is respecting the space of others. Tailgating spots can be hard to come by, and many people reserve their spot hours or even days in advance.

It’s important not to encroach on someone else’s space, and to be mindful of noise levels and cleanliness. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of local laws and regulations regarding tailgating, such as open container laws and parking restrictions.

Another important aspect of tailgating etiquette is food and drink. Many tailgaters bring their own food and drinks to share with others, but it’s important to be mindful of dietary restrictions and allergies. It’s also important to clean up after yourself and dispose of trash properly.

Finally, it’s important to remember that tailgating is a family-friendly environment, and to avoid excessive drinking and rowdy behavior.

Tailgating Etiquette
Respect others’ space
Be mindful of noise levels and cleanliness
Follow local laws and regulations
Be mindful of dietary restrictions and allergies
Clean up after yourself and dispose of trash properly
Avoid excessive drinking and rowdy behavior

Etiquette Before the Game

Tailgating before college football games is a fun and exciting tradition that brings together fans of all ages.

However, it is important to remember that certain etiquette rules should be followed to ensure everyone has a good time. This section will discuss the etiquette around food and drinks and tailgating games.

Additional Reading from our article: What Do You Bring To A Tailgate?

Tailgate Food and Drinks

Food and Drinks

Food and drinks are a crucial part of any tailgate party. Burgers, hot dogs, chips, and snacks are popular choices, but it’s always a good idea to bring a variety of options to accommodate different dietary restrictions and preferences.

Salads and pasta salad are great options for those who want something lighter, while pies and other desserts are perfect for those with a sweet tooth.

When it comes to drinks, it’s important to remember that alcohol is a big part of many tailgate parties. However, it’s important to drink responsibly and never drink and drive. Portable grills are a great way to cook up some food, but it’s important to remember to keep them away from any flammable objects.

Read More: 10 Things You Do (And Don’t) Bring To A Tailgate Party

Tailgating Games

Tailgating games are a great way to pass the time before the game starts. Some popular options include cornhole, ladder toss, and beer pong. These games are a great way to get everyone involved and keep the energy high.

It’s important to remember that not everyone wants to participate in these games, so it’s important to be respectful of others’ wishes. Additionally, it’s important to keep the noise level down so as not to disturb other tailgaters or nearby residents.

When it comes to traditions, some schools have their own unique tailgating traditions. For example, Georgia and Florida have their annual “Cocktail Party,” while LSU fans are known for their “Tiger Walk.” Rutgers and Princeton have their own unique tailgating traditions as well.

Overall, tailgating before a college football game is a great way to get involved in the community and show your support for your favorite team. By following these etiquette rules, you can ensure that everyone has a good time and that the tradition continues for years to come.

Hot dogsSoda
Pasta SaladLemonade
PieIced Tea

Etiquette After the Game

After the excitement of the game, it’s important to remember that the tailgate area needs to be left clean and tidy. Here are some tips for post-game cleanup:

Post-Game Cleanup

  • Dispose of all trash and litter in the designated receptacles.
  • Clean and pack up all tailgating equipment, such as grills, chairs, and tables.
  • Help your host with the cleanup, so they don’t have to do it alone.
  • If you notice any damage to the tailgate area, report it to the appropriate authorities.

Remember, leaving the tailgate area in a mess is disrespectful to the host and other fans who will be using the area in the future.

Tailgate Party Etiquette - Clean up

Good Company

Tailgating is all about good company, and after the game is no exception. Here are some tips for enjoying the company of your fellow fans:

  • Share your experiences of the game with others, and ask them about theirs.
  • Play tailgating games together, such as cornhole or beer pong.
  • Engage in friendly conversation and make new friends.


Tailgating can be a great family experience, and after the game is a good time to spend time together. Here are some tips for enjoying the company of your family:

  • Help your children pack up their toys and equipment.
  • Play family-friendly games together, such as frisbee or catch.
  • Enjoy a meal together before heading home.

Remember, tailgating is a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone, and everyone should be respectful and courteous to each other.

Here’s a table to summarize some of the key points:

Post-Game CleanupGood CompanyFamily
Dispose of trashShare experiencesHelp children pack up
Clean up equipmentPlay tailgating gamesPlay family-friendly games
Help host with cleanupEngage in friendly conversationEnjoy a meal together
Report damageMake new friends

No matter where you are tailgating, whether at Ole Miss, Auburn, Harvard, or even at the Civil War or Battle of Bull Run reenactments, following proper tailgating etiquette will ensure everyone has a great time.

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