The Anatomy of a Southern Tailgate

If you take a beautiful, crisp Fall day in the southeast and add a freshly starched linen table cloth and a silver candelabra that has been in the family for years to a standard issue folding card table, then you have a recipe for a good old fashioned southern tailgate. Add a few pewter bowls and a cake or cupcake stand, and there you go. Yes, you have to have pretty bowls and decorative platters. It is no matter that they contain Lays® potato chips or store-bought pimento cheese. It is all about the presentation. That’s right, don’t even think about putting plastic bowls or platters on your tailgate table! If you have flowers in a vase, it is even better. If your flowers match the colors of your college team, now you are really talking. Add some top shelf Kentucky bourbon and two southern gentlemen having a spirited conversation about why the Southeastern Conference (SEC) is the strongest football conference in the country and you have the epitomy of a fine southern tailgate.

Many who hail from places other than the Southeastern United States have a hard time understanding that for many southerners, the tailgate is almost as important as the game itself. I did say almost! It does not matter if you are in The Grove watching an Ole Miss game, in the plains of Alabama watching the Auburn Tigers, cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs between the hedges in Athens, or standing in a parking lot in downtown Atlanta rooting for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets; tailgating is a tried and true southern tradition. When you walk past the tailgates in college towns all over the south on any given Saturday afternoon in the Fall, you will pass everything ranging from epicurean creations like BLT Tea Sandwiches and filet mignon chili served with Mimosas and Bloody Marys to Publix fried chicken and potato salad served with ice cold beer or iced tea.   Again, it does not matter what is served at your tailgate, it is the presentation and respect for tradition that makes this southern pastime so special.

Make no mistake, you do not need to be from the south to enjoy a good old fashioned southern tailgate. If you don’t have a team to root for, it is no worry. Any southerner worth their salt will be happy to loan you one of theirs for the day! So grab your shakers, your appetite and your sense of fun and come on out and enjoy this age-old southern tradition.

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Posted by Beth Schultz on Behalf of Concierge Services of Atlanta, Inc.


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