Tailgating Season Varies Across the United States

The Fourth of July might be the most popular grilling day in the United States, as 87% of people plan on cooking at some point during this holiday, but the fall is the most popular season for tailgating.

College football, NFL, and even horse racing can result in some of the largest gathering of grillers and tailgaters the U.S. has ever seen.

“If you do something, you do it all the way,” said Keith Fitting, a 66-year-old tailgater who attended the upscale tailgate in Far Hills New Jersey. “It’s an excuse for a cocktail party for thousands of people.”

Thousands of horse loving fans enjoyed the fancier side of tailgating with cheese platters, petite sandwiches, champagne, and salads. The major tailgate event was the 97th annual Far Hills Race Meeting at Moorland Farm.

“We try to do it more like grown-ups,” added Katherine Gargiulo, the 32-year-old tailgater who brought along two bartenders to cater for her and her friends. “We’re celebrating…”

Nearly 40,000 people filled the Far Hills and enjoyed the various tailgating festivities for the event.

Fitting, who was drinking scotch as opposed to the traditional light beer in a red solo cup, enjoys the tailgating aspect of the event as well as the people watching.

“You see the best and worst of some people,” he said.

College campuses are hotbeds for tailgating as well, but there needs to be a lot more supervision, as underage drinking has been known to happen before college football events.

According to The Spokesman-Review, the Idaho State Board of Education approved policy changes permitting alcohol under specific circumstances at NCAA athletic events. The tailgating amendment allows authorized game patrons and their guests to drink alcohol that was brought with them to designated areas like stadium parking lots — as long as they are abiding by all local and state alcohol regulations.

“Before, the initial debate was should we even allow alcohol to be served on campus at pregame events,” said Blake Youde, Idaho State Board spokesman. “Now the policy allows it. We just need to see the institution’s plan for conducting that within the parameters of the policy.”