By Loren Gilbert- Social Media Intern, Tailgate Tennessee

            The showdown between the Tennessee Volunteers and the LSU Tigers will not be remembered by the monsoon that poured down during the game, but instead by the out-of-this-world tailgating that took place before either team charged the field. The 7:00 p.m. kick-off time allowed for an abundance of shrimp boils, grilling, and even a little gumbo action by our friends visiting from Louisiana. There were a host of amazing gatherings vying for the Tailgate of the Game award, but the final decision came down to the group that attracted people from all over campus.

Strader Boston Story Tailgating took home the title at the end of the day, and we can easily say it was well deserved. UT and LSU fans alike were gathered all around their tent to listen to the star of the show, the Andrews Brothers’ Dueling Pianos. Besides playing Rocky Top at least a few times every hour, the musicians played several southern classics and even a few modern favorites. By the end of the night, it seemed the entirety of Circle Park had congregated around to sing along. This tailgate truly aligned with the title “most epic tailgate on Earth.”

             Enjoy a small glimpse into this unforgettable party here and follow us on our Instagram, @tailgatetennessee, for behind the scenes videos.  

The Andrews brothers got set up early and played for fans walking by.

A little humor goes a long way on game days. 

The party got started early and continued well into the evening.

We couldn’t pass up having an honorable out of town mention this week. The Traveling Bandits Tailgate brought the entire bayou to Knoxville with a big pot of gumbo and a great atmosphere.

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s edition of Tailgate of the Game. Unfortunately, there is only one more left for this season, but we will be back with much more content soon!

By Loren Gilbert- Social Media Intern, Tailgate Tennessee

“So here’s to you old Tennessee,

Our Alma Mater true

We pledge in love and harmony

Our loyalty to you.”

Those famous words in UT’s official alma mater song, “On a Hallowed Hill,” couldn’t have been truer for this weekend’s homecoming game. Alumni from across the state joined us to celebrate their college, and we enjoyed helping them host an epic tailgate for all their friends.

The group that stood out the most was definitely the UT Women’s Golf 25th reunion. They had a great mix of people gathered to celebrate homecoming, and the atmosphere in their tent was perfect for the gathering of old and new friends. The First Down package with a TV upgrade suited their needs well.

Here are a few snapshots from their tent to get some inspiration for your next Tailgate Tennessee experience.

The balloons added tons of detail and looked cute in the background of every photo.

The First Down package had plenty of space for a large buffet and seating for all their guests.

Thank you for checking out this week’s Tailgate of the Game!

By Loren Gilbert- Social Media Intern, Tailgate Tennessee

The Vols took on the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday, and once again we saw how serious Southerners take on tailgating! Brunch spreads looked better than ever for this noon game. There were many groups in the running for Tailgate of the Game this week, but one really stood out from the crowd. The UT Alliance of Women Philanthropists brought a great crowd and many unique touches. There were personalized signs and festive orange displays in all the right places! The package and upgrades they chose really came together cohesively. Thank you to Melissa Smith for organizing your Tailgate Tennessee experience, we really enjoyed working with you!

Here are some pictures from their award-winning tailgate.


The layout of their tent was perfect for socializing and watching the game.

The pole drapes add just the right amount of attention to detail. You won’t have to think twice about adding this upgrade!

These orange and white couches bring tons of character to any tailgate. They also make the perfect background for a group Instagram shot!

The letterboard and other details give tons of originality to the buffet.

Contact us if with any questions about features seen in this Tailgate Tennessee package at or on any of our social media. Go Vols!


By Loren Gilbert- Social Media Intern, Tailgate Tennessee

The atmosphere in circle park was indescribable the morning leading up to this year’s Georgia game. There were so many over-the-top tailgates, including tents with live music, orange and white flower arrangements, and extremely delicious catering. Selecting a Tailgate of the Game has never been more fun or challenging. The final decision came down to atmosphere this week, and our winner definitely brought the party. Our champions were Spike and Lisa Tickle. The perfect combination of enthusiasm, decorations, and catering made their tent the place to be. They had dozens of guests, UT and UGA fans alike, enjoying themselves at the bar, food table, and a comfy, white couch. Thank you for booking your Tailgate Tennessee experience.

Here are a few highlights from their tent.

We love how they utilized their tables and linens to lay out this serious food spread.

This white, leather couch upgrade is one of our favorites. It adds seating in the perfect spot to enjoy the game coverage all day long.

We love the “grass” covering the table. The orange and white shaker also adds a festive touch.

Our favorite aspect of this tailgate had to be these plates. They were made using fallen palm tree leaves and a power T branding tool.

Choosing a tailgate this week was such a challenge. We love that everyone went all out, and we can’t wait for the rest of the games this season. Go Vols!

By Loren Gilbert, Social Media Intern- Tailgate Tennessee 

Do you have a delicious dish you have been dying to make for your friends and family? Do you love cheering on the Vols every Saturday? Submit your favorite recipe to be entered for a chance to win a Kick-Off package worth $750 from Tailgate Tennessee!

All recipe entries must be posted on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with our social media account tagged and the hashtag #TailgateTennesseeRecipe by midnight on Sunday, October 8, 2017. The details for the recipe need to be included in the post. The winner will be notified on Monday. The best dish will be chosen by

  • How original is the recipe?
  • How well would it work for a tailgate?
  • Does it include any UT theme?
  • Bonus Points for including a picture of the finished product!

The winner will receive a Tailgate Tennessee Kick-Off Package for the UT vs. South Carolina game on October 14, 2017. The Kick-Off package includes a 10 x 20 tent, two 8-foot tables, 20 white folding chairs, and several other features. We can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!

By Loren Gilbert, Social Media Intern- Tailgate Tennessee

 Tailgaters showed up to win once again during the Vols’ second home game of the season. With a noon kickoff time, many tailgaters opted for breakfast spreads, and the weather was perfect for several competitive games of corn hole. We had many amazing tailgates, but one stood out from the crowd. Pattinson Sign Group brought amazing atmosphere and festive decorations to their Tailgate Tennessee experience. We are now firm believers that every noon kickoff game should come equipped with a Bloody Mary bar and the wide array of treats brought by this week’s winner. It is impossible to have a bad time when surrounded by such amazing food and people. Thanks to Wendy Webb for coordinating a fantastic Tailgate Tennessee experience, and as always, go Vols!

They were serious about their brunch food and made the most of the early kickoff time.

The shining jewel of this Tailgate Tennessee spread was definitely the Bloody Mary bar. We love all the extra toppings and serious attention to detail.

Flowers will always be our favorite, especially when they are orange and white! The mason jars with ribbon and twine added a nice southern touch. We love that they took advantage of their DISH network service all day by watching live coverage of the game.

Every Tailgate of the Game receives a prize pack and a feature blog post. Make sure to follow us on all of our social media profiles to get inspiration for your upcoming Tailgate Tennessee experience!!

by Loren Gilbert, Social Media Intern- Tailgate Tennessee

The Tennessee Volunteers hit the field for the first time in Neyland Stadium this season, and we also kicked off tailgating. This year, Tailgate Tennessee is selecting a “Tailgate of the Game” based on the look and feel in each tent. We have the pleasure of helping the most amazing people throw their tailgate, and hopefully this will be a way to reward them for giving their all to hosting. A prize pack and a special feature on the blog goes to the winner each week. NHC was named the winner for the Vols victory over Indiana St. Their festive decorations and upbeat atmosphere added a lot of life to the party. Thank you for booking your experience with Tailgate Tennessee!! We are looking forward to many more memorable tailgates this season.

Here are a few of the highlights from their tailgate.

We love the personalization they added through the sign and colorful letters!

Flowers are one of the easiest ways to add a nice touch to your tailgate. The GBO mason jars and the orange mum also added a fall element, which goes right along with football time in Tennessee.

The orange, gingham tablecloths add lots of southern charm.

If you need some inspiration for your next tailgate head on over to our Pinterest for some big orange ideas!

by Drew Rutherford, General Manager – Tailgate Tennessee

Tailgate Tennessee sets up more than 400 unique tailgates every football season – more than 1500 since 2012, in fact. In that time, we’ve learned something about Tennessee fans – we’re just downright better tailgaters than y’all.

Don’t mean to offend, bless your hearts, but sometimes the truth is a hard pill to swallow. I’m prepared to support this claim with six reasons why Vols tailgate best:

1. Neyland Stadium: a little dose of history sure does aid the atmosphere on Rocky Top. Named for former head coach General Robert Neyland, the home of the Vols is college football’s second-winningest home venue, hosting 461 wins since it opened 96 years ago. All that winning inside the gates of Neyland make for winning habits outside at the tailgate, too. Being the nation’s fifth-largest college football stadium doesn’t hurt, either.

2. Traditions: Yes, every school has traditions – hear me out. Two of the most hallowed traditions at Ole UT are the Vol Walk and the Salute to The Hill. Prior to kick-off each week, the Vols, led by head coach Butch Jones, huddle around the Torchbearer Statue before progressing into the stadium. Shortly thereafter, the Pride of the Southland Band marches by the same spot as they Salute The Hill before similarly entering the stadium. Both of these events get started in the heart of the tailgate scene at UT – Tailgate Tennessee.

3. Classy Touches: The Grove at Ole Miss is synonymous with upscale upgrades, but the Rebels ain’t got nothin’ on the Vols. Drapes, chandeliers and big screen TVs (powered by DISH) adorn the majority of tailgates we setup each week, and some of these parties more closely resemble living rooms than tailgate tents.

4. The Spread: If the Vols are hosting Florida, try walking through campus without a friendly face offering you some fried gator. But the spread is always serious at UT. Normal buffets offer everything from burgers and hot dogs to the Dead End BBQ nacho bar and Calhoun’s World-Famous ribs (two of our personal favorites). Low country boils, whole hogs (or gators, if the time is right) and an occasional deep fried turkey are never out of the question, either.

5. Cocktails: Signature drinks are the trend these days and the Vols certainly have some contenders. A longtime Knoxville favorite is the Ice Pick (4-5 parts sweet iced tea, 2 parts vodka, and fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste), and Vol fans were drinking it long before any John Daly! A Tennessee twist to the ice pick includes the Volunteer State’s most-famous son, Jack Daniels. Another common cocktail on UT game days is the Creamsicle (orange crush soda and whipped cream vodka).

6. Live music: If you play an instrument in this town, you best know Rocky Top. It ain’t nothing to see a live band at a tailgate, and on a big weekend we usually see two or three in our small footprint at Tailgate Tennessee. There is even a rumor that we’ll see dueling pianos at a tailgate this fall!

EXTRA POINT: If all that wasn’t enough for you, consider for a moment that a sizeable contingent of Vols fans make the commute to Neyland Stadium via water. The Vol Navy was founded when a former UT broadcaster began trying to avoid game day traffic by navigating the Tennessee River instead. That began a tradition that only a handful of other schools can boast. Yachts and pontoons and boats of all shapes and sizes began rolling into Knoxville’s Volunteer landing early in a game week and immediately begin sailgating.

Tailgating is serious business from coast-to-coast, but you’ll find none better than the tailgate parties thrown on Rocky Top. Win or lose, the Vols are undefeated at tailgate.