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8 Tips for Ultimate Blacksburg Tailgating

START JUMPING! There's nothing in all of college football that compares to a game at Lane Stadium. The crowd is high energy and engaged throughout the game and the concessions are awesome (like the milkshakes from the VT dairy club)! But outside of the stadium, the tailgate scene is where all the hype gets started, friends are made, and great food is had. Ranked the 11th best tailgating experience in the South, here's what you need to know.

1. Arrive at least 2-3 hours before kick-off. Lots open at 7am, no matter when the game starts. Driving around at 6am, you may see some stalwart tailgaters out smoking meat and by 10am you might be offered a drink as you walk by, but the big party starts about 3 hours before kickoff; the team busses arrive 2 hours before kickoff. Get there earlier to set up your tent and stake out a spot.

2. Have two lawn-sized trash bags. Attach one to either side of your vehicle for recycling and trash and be sure to take them with you when you leave. This folding trashbag holder can make it extra easy for set up, with no messy bag spills.

3. For premium tailgating with no effort, contact the Tailgate Guys. They work with VT to offer premium setups in very close proximity to Lane Stadium. You can arrange to have everything from a tent and chairs waiting to a full media package.

4. Prepare food ahead of time. Veteran tailgaters have often given up on the grill in favor of home prepared noshes that are easy to transport and look great. You can also have platters catered and bring them with you to the event. Hethwood Market is a favorite for catering tailgating events with a local flare. If you're cooking onsite, be prepared to serve breakfast and lunch favorites from pancakes and sausage biscuits to chili and BBQ sandwiches.

5. Dress for the event. Dress yourself and your tailgate setup to show your support of the Hokies. As Terry Lynn Howard (local tailgating diva) said, "All of my food is Hokie-colored; all of my decorations are Hokie-colored; all of our clothes are Hokie-colored." The great part of Hokie colored food is that crowd favorites from chili to pimento cheese dip all fit!

6. Have games ready! While cornhole is more popular, Liberate the Log is a little more dangerous. Cornhole is the game of throwing beanbags into a hole in a board, much the same way as horseshoes.

Liberate the Log is a little more challenging. Each person puts a nail into a log. The object of the game is to have your nail nailed all the way in last. However, a player must throw the hammer, have it flip end over end at least once and catch it without readjusting their grip and take the strike on the nail in one motion. While slightly more dangerous than cornhole, it's quite popular among the student tailgating tents.

7. Do the Hokie Pokie! The tailgate experience in Blacksburg is all about community. It's not a bunch of separate tailgates as much as a crazy fun adventure for everyone. The marching band gets in on the fun and will visit your tailgate and play "Hokie Pokie" and yes, everyone better dance. If you want to be sure to catch the band, check out Hokie Village, where the tailgate is one big party.

8. Dress for the season. While September games can be plenty warm, the weather starts changing in October. Bring layers to stay warm. November games can be downright frigid, so make sure you're ready to enjoy the day no matter what Mother Nature brings.


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