Joe Cahn's Ten Tips for a Successful Tailgate Party

1. Dress in team colors. Wear a team jersey or sweatshirt! You are the 12th man on the team and the first player on the Tailgating Team. Show your team spirit. Tailgaters are the best fans!

2. Plan your menu and do prep work a day or two before the game. Keep the menu simple and pack prepared food in disposable containers. (Visit clevelandmagazine.com for some sample recipes.)

3. Make a list of the items you want to take along. Check off items as you pack. Pack paper products (plates, napkins, towels, forks, spoons, etc.) the night before. Remember such items as a small first-aid kit, trashbags, water and damp towels in plastic baggies to clean hands and face.

4. Plan to arrive 3 to 4 hours early and stay 1 to 2 hours after the game.

5. Find a good spot to park. Not all parking spaces are created equal! Park next to a grassy area or at the end of the parking row — this gives you more room for serious tailgating!

6. Fly a flag on a very high pole so friends can find you.

7. Decorate your tailgate site with team pennants and other team regalia.

8. Meet your tailgate neighbors, throw the football with friends, read the Sunday paper and have a good time! Share food and swap recipes. Note: If attending a Thursday or Saturday game, substitute appropriate newspaper.

9. Food should be ready 1 1/2 hours before the game starts. This is plenty of time for those going to the game to eat, clean up and extinguish fires. (Those not going to the game can pull out the generator and TV.)

10. Leave area clean. Begin thinking about food and friends for the next game.

Source: Joe Cahn’s www.tailgating.com

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