There’s something about the arrival of fall that makes you want to pull your grill out and host a tailgate for your friends and family. The aroma of charred meat, the refreshingly cool breeze, and the excitement of witnessing another adrenaline-charged football season are too irresistible to ignore.
But with the emergence of new SARS-CoV2 variants, organizing a full-fledged tailgate with all your near and dear ones might be off the charts. Nevertheless, that shouldn’t deprive you of the joy of cherishing the upcoming football season.
The good thing about a tailgate is that you get to meet and interact with your guests out in the open. With the right social distancing and hygiene protocols, it can minimize your chances of getting infected with the novel coronavirus.
In this blog, we’ve outlined a few useful tips to help you plan an unforgettable socially distanced tailgate. Let’s take a look.
1. Plan for the Weather
This one’s an absolute no-brainer. The last thing you want is to host your tailgate on a muggy day with overcast skies. It’s not the best ambiance to lift the spirits of your guests. Also, there’s always going to be the looming threat of sudden rains and strong winds.
That’s why it is a good idea to check the weather forecast using an accurate and trustworthy weather app. Make sure you look into the precise weather forecast for your neighborhood. Choose a day when the skies are going to be bright and sunny with minimal chances of showers and thunderstorms.
2. Know Your Guidelines
Who enjoys running into trouble with the local authorities for hosting a public gathering? Absolutely no one.
That’s why we recommend that you check the latest guidelines about COVID safety protocols in public gatherings. Find your information from a credible and reputed source, such as the CDC’s website.
Additionally, you should keep a track of the local news to learn more about the restrictions and guidelines specific to your neighborhood and city. Also, keep an eye on the rate of increase of COVID-19 infections in your area.
Depending on the venue you’ve selected for the tailgate, you might need to obtain prior permission from the authorities as well. A more hassle-free alternative is to convert your backyard into a tailgate venue.
3. Create a Seating Plan
Standing amidst your friends and chatting with them while guzzling a pint of beer is part of the charm of a tailgate. But given the current circumstances, it’s wiser to outline a socially distanced seating plan. Place collapsible chairs six feet apart so that your guests can sit comfortably with their food.
Alternatively, you could turn the event into a drive-in party where all the guests can bring their cars. All you need to do is create a socially distanced car spacing plan. Of course, you’re going to need a spacious venue for this purpose.
Apart from the seating plan, make sure you install a few hand sanitizer stations throughout the venue.
4. Ask About Vaccination Status
Don’t hesitate to ask your friends about their vaccination status before finalizing your guest list. You can even choose to invite only those people who’ve been fully vaccinated. Explain your reasons for doing so.
5. Plan a Fuss-Free Menu
No tailgate is complete without a live grill dishing out juicy burger patties, hotdogs, briskets, and grilled veggies. But these are unusual circumstances where sharing of food isn’t the best idea. Instead, you can ask your guests to carry their favorite snacks and desserts.
If you’re keen to showcase your culinary skills, think about bite-sized foods that can be packed into individual boxes or paper bags. Jalapeno poppers, chicken wings, potato wedges, and cheesesteak sandwiches are all excellent items for packing.
You could even create individual food hampers with different types of finger foods, condiments, and desserts. It’s a great way to delight your guests, and give them something to carry home from the party.
Of course, your tailgate would be incomplete without a handful of refreshing beverages. In light of the pandemic, it’s wiser to ask your guests to bring their own beverages. Also, ask them to carry their supply of cups, glasses, plates, and cutlery. It’ll save you the hassle of keeping everything sanitized.
There’s something about a tailgate that appeals to sports enthusiasts and food lovers alike. While the pandemic may not be the ideal time to host a large gathering, you can still enjoy an intimate tailgate with your closest friends. Invite only those friends who’ve been fully vaccinated. And ask them to carry their food and drinks to minimize the chances of triggering a COVID-19 outbreak.