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'Tis the Season for Tailgating

Tailgating Season
Photo: iStock

Well, it's September. Summer road trip season is officially over. But I can't be too sad because we're moving into my next favourite car season: tailgating season!

Point of clarification: tailgating in this instance is the "social event held on or around the open tailgate of a parked vehicle" not the "practice of driving too closely behind another car". Thank you, Wikipedia!

The tailgate parties of my university years were relatively simple affairs. A few friends, a cooler chest with beverages and grill fare, a portable grill and a bag of charcoal were all you needed.

We used to hang out in the parking lot of my university stadium for a few hours before the football game started. Also, technically we weren't using the tailgate because I drove a Chevy van (inherited from my parents' catering business - and while it was the singularly most unsexy vehicle ever, it was also kind of awesome because it held a lot of people and/or stuff) and we sat in the side-sliding doorway of the van.

But the tailgating of my youth has nothing on today's tailgate parties. Tailgaters now set up tents, decorate with flower arrangements and have HDTVs hung so they can watch the game while cooking on state-of-the-art grills. Games, grilling contests, DJs and dancing are now part of this over-the-top car activity!

These days tailgating parties are not just for the big game; people are now tailgating before events like the opera! And a little rain doesn't get true tailgaters down - check out this video from tailgaters at the opening of the Santa Fe Opera season.

Are you a fan of tailgating? Any tailgating tips to share? Leave a comment below.

- Rose R.

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