(WHNT) — September 3 is already a special day for football fans this year, as it marks the first day that several college teams will kick off the season – but it almost seems a little too perfect as it lands on National Tailgating Day!

Since 2016, the fan-friendly holiday is typically held on the first Saturday in September.

Everybody has a different way (and different interpretation) of what to expect at a tailgate. So if you plan on hosting one soon, especially on the first full day of college football across the south, check out our tips below!

Be Prepared!

Tailgating “experts” say the best advice is not being ready to be the hostess with the mostest. Veteran tailgaters say it’s best to be organized ahead of game time to keep everything breezy. Chop up your ingredients, gather your condiments and prepare your meat!

Wise Food Choices

What food do you expect to be at a tailgate? Brats, burgers, chicken wings, ribs? There have been several suggestions from a newsroom poll, but it seems the more convenient and handheld food wins the popularity contest here. Not to mention, if your party is in the parking lot outside the stadium, you could receive some “unexpected” guests!

Plan For Fuel

Regardless if you choose to grill with charcoal or gas, planning ahead to have more than enough is better than making an emergency grocery store run and making everyone wait.

Hostly Duties

While drinking at tailgates is pretty much a given, mixing fire and alcohol is never a good idea. Emergency officials encourage at least one person to play the part of “DD” while manning a grill, especially in the unfamiliar setting of a public parking lot around crowds of people doing the same.


There are several ways to keep guests busy at a tailgate, but a little competition always goes over well. Cards, horseshoes, cornhole or beer pong are a few of the popular ones, but space is definitely something to keep in mind during the planning process.

All in all, the best plan of action for any successful tailgate is to keep it simple and have fun! What’s your tailgating advice? Let us know here!