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Five Ideas to Throw the Best Tailgate in the MidSouth

The kids have been back in school for some time. You step outside in the morning and feel the crisp cool air. You can even take a nice walk without melting! That means Fall is on the horizon here in the MidSouth, and with the changing leaves comes the perfect opportunity for tailgating. It’s an American pastime that’s perfect for the season. 

Since our winters are generally mild, you can enjoy tailgating without significant exposure to cold temperatures like you would in other parts of the United States. It’s one of our favorite things about Memphis!

It’s time to prep your tailgate setup. First off, awesome. It’s a real fun time and if you prepare correctly, you’ll have even more of a blast. And that’s why we’re here writing this blog. We want to help you have everything ready to go to make the most of tailgating season. 

Keep reading to discover five ideas to throw the best tailgate party!

1. Chill your beverages in advance

The best tailgate is a proactive one. Hear us out! You need to prepare quite a bit for ‘gaters of all ages. Your body has an easier time hydrating when you consume cold beverages, so whether you’re baking alive in a parking lot during the heat of Summer, or bracing for the cold in the dead of winter, chill your beverages in advance. 

Submerge your preferred beverages in ice, pour some water over top, and to really cool things down, freeze salt water in some plastic bottles and add those to your cooler. As the salt water melts, this lowers the temperature of the water and is the same science behind salting wintertime walkways. 

You might be thinking, why is lowering the freezing point of water good for chilling? Well, good question—thanks for thinking about it! The answer is simple: salt lowers the freezing point of water. It isn’t raising the temperature of the water or ice—it’s lowering the freezing point of the water itself. Adding salt keeps the water cooler and your drinks below freezing. Crazy, right? Every time you add salt to your cooler water, you’re conducting your very own tailgate science experiment. That’s pretty neat in our book!

2. Grab a blanket

The ideal multi-purpose tailgating friend. A small, white blanket is perfect to place over a cooler filled with cube or block ice. It shields your ice from the sun and slows melting. And hey, once it’s done the job, wet your blanket with your cold ice water and wrap it around your neck. It doesn’t matter if you have children or not—sporting a wet blanket wrapped around your neck makes you an honorary Dad for the day. Wear it with pride!

3. Make your beverages in advance

Are you picking up on a theme here? Preparation is key to any successful tailgate. And don’t you forget it!

Show up with no plan and no prep and you’re not going to have a great time. We can’t have that and neither can you. Grab all the ingredients you need to make your favorite drinks, mix them up the night before, and portion them into single-serve containers. Toss them in your ice-filled cooler and watch them disappear.

4. Build a tailgate necessities kit 

If tailgating is life, so is this kit. Get to it! 

This can get out of hand, but generally, we recommend building a tailgating necessities kit with no fewer than ten items. Not sure where to begin? We have you covered:

  • Utensils for cooking and eating
  • Large trash bags
  • Rags or Paper towels
  • Sanitation essentials (more on that later)
  • Sunscreen
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight 
  • Tape 
  • Writing utensils like pens or markers for labeling
  • Small plastic bags

The best tailgating kit can be stored in a toolbox or reusable plastic shelving container.

5. Sanitation

Now more than ever, proper sanitation and cleaning are necessary at tailgates everywhere. A well-stocked, organized cleaning station is a must. Here is a small but handy checklist for a solid sanitation station at a tailgate near you:

  • Grab an old laundry detergent dispenser, fill it with clean water, and use it as a handwashing station.
  • Grab a paper towel roll holder for ‘gater convenience.
  • A trash can is vital. Don’t be the person tossing trash on the ground.
  • Purchase a few cheap plastic trash cans just for tailgating or invest in a portable trash bag holder. 
  • Hand sanitizer is an obvious addition to this checklist. Bring a bunch and pass it around like it’s going out of style. You may even want to set a timer to remind your crew to sanitize regularly!

Final tailgating tips

Remember, no tailgate is complete without these last three goodies:

  • Meats: Burgers, Dogs, Bacon, whatever. If it’s meaty and salty, it’s a requirement.
  • Beats: Build a playlist that invites people over and keeps them hanging around.
  • Treats: Sweet treats are the perfect complement to a great time with great friends!

Be the best proactive tailgating host you can be. If you pack a grill, bring the fuel and utensils you need to get it started and keep it going. If you’re the cooler king, fill them up with plenty of ice from your ice machine from Memphis Ice! We offer multiple units for your home or business, as well as a comprehensive machine rental program.

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