KEG: What you need for tailgating

By: Becca Clemons

As with anything, a successful tailgating experience requires preparation.

Sure, you could show up with the clothes on your back and some cash in your pocket, hoping your friends or other tailgaters will share food and beer, but a little foresight can go a long way.

Don’t forget to eat, especially if drinking is part of your tailgating experience. Pick up some food on the way or bring snacks from home.

On the same token, pack disposable cups, plates and utensils, as well as a trash bag for easy clean up when you’re done. For any drinks you might need, including bottled water for a hot day in the Commonwealth Stadium parking lot, bring a cooler loaded with ice.

This is helpful, too, if you’re having a group over at your house or apartment to watch the game. Lawn chairs are necessary if you’re tailgating at Commonwealth, as are blankets for chilly evening games as summer turns to fall.

Stores like Fan Outfitters sell more offbeat tailgating supplies, like tools that brand “UK” onto hamburgers or hot dogs, in addition to the traditional tents and coolers.

“We have just about anything that a tailgating fan could want,” said Fan Outfitters President Joe Kawaja. “We have very creative tailgating supplies.”

He said the store has everything from UK-themed Russell Stover chocolates to creative barbeque sets and aprons.

To pass the time and possible build friendships with nearby tailgaters, bring games.

Cornhole (or bean bags, whichever name you prefer) or a classic toss of the football or Frisbee can mean fun for many. For a more low-key activity, bring a deck of cards and play your favorite game.

If there’s a chance of rain, don’t forget an umbrella or poncho to stay dry before and during the game. And if you’re watching the game at home, make sure not to lose your remote (especially right before kickoff)!