Apartment Living BlogFood & Entertaining › Tailgating Through History

As you paint up your face and throw on your favorite team’s jersey to head out to the tailgate before the game, you may wonder where this tradition came from.  The first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “tailgate,” is usually football.  It is only natural to think tailgating may have originated in some early college football games.  While most of the tailgating reports are from football games, there was an even earlier recording of a “tailgate” in the mid 1800s.  Like Civil War times.  Normally, you wouldn’t think of war as a time to throw a big party.  However, at the Battle of Bull Run in 1861 there is documented accounts of Union supports bringing baskets of food and cheering for “Big Blue.”

In 1869, the Rutgers v. Princeton football match-up brought in people with food, fun and drinks to prepare for the game on the tailgates of their wagons.  Friendly rivalry brought out a camaraderie in fans and opened up a tradition of fun game preparation.

These days, tailgating is a crucial part to any football game.  Many people take their tailgating serious, even going with themed parties and intense grilling set ups.  It is a past-time based on tradition that has continued to grow throughout the years.

Good tailgating comes with food, beer, and socializing.  So get your tent pitched and the grill fired up, it’s almost football season.


Pictures by:  Dan Anderson., The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion  on flickr.com



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Sydney is working for For Rent Media Solutions as an intern in Social Media Marketing. In this role, she assists in executing and optimizing social media strategic plans across several different channels. Among these channels are blogging, social networking, promoting brand awareness on video sharing sites, and other conversational media. She spends a great deal of time finding ways to generate awareness of For Rent Media Solutions brand. Sydney graduates from Virginia Tech in December, 2012 with a Bachelor's degree in Communication. She looks forward to getting out into the real world and working on her career. She also loves the color green, the beach, and country music.


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