As we emerge out of the pandemic, virtually all aspects of life have changed. While there were temporary changes made necessary to prevent the spread of COVID, some trends will continue to impact us going forward as well. Tailgating, in particular, was hard hit last year but it is slowly starting to resume and this summer and fall should be an epic celebration of food, friends, and cheering on our favorite teams.
While tailgating is most closely associated with football, other sports participate in the pregame practice as well, including auto racing, baseball, soccer, and some folks even organize hockey tailgate parties too. Football however is the big daddy of all tailgating traditions and it is said that the term tailgate parties were organized by Green Bay Packers fans as early as 1919.
While it is likely that pre-game BBQs and drinking preceded this coining of the term “tailgating”, the practice has continued for more than a century and we look forward to keeping things going for another hundred years, at least!
Here are some trends though that will shape tailgating as we recover from the pandemic though.
Health and Sanitation
Without a doubt, improved awareness of health and sanitation will be something we all have experienced over the past year and that will continue in all aspects of our life. Even while the risk of catching COVID-19 continues to decrease in most parts of the country, basic hygiene practices like hand washing and washing dishes will continue to be more important.
For most of us, there is no need to carry hand sanitizer with us everywhere but I would expect various products designed for this purpose to start appearing at tailgate parties.
Traveling A Gathering Groups of Friends
We all took a year off from traveling and hanging out with friends. As we start to open back up again, it is quite literally time to get back out there. Your tailgate parties in 2018 might have just been a group of local friends, but this fall might be the perfect opportunity to travel to your alma mater for a college football reunion tailgate party.
While colleges struggled with how to handle tailgate parties last year, those restrictions should be virtually non-existent going forward.
There are tailgate classics that should never be touched. Many men have perfected their BBQ sauce or macaroni salad over generations of practice and we can’t wait to dig in.
However, over the past year, many of us have spent extra time honing our cooking skills and some of us have discovered new talents. I would expect that we’ll start to see some innovative creations start to appear as tailgates resume this year.
Virtual Tailgate Parties
If there is one trend that has permeated American life during the pandemic, it is “virtual events”. We’ve all experienced a bit of Zoom fatigue but I’m sure we’ll be inviting friends and family who can’t make it to our tailgate parties this year to join us virtually.