Angela Marie Events designed this tailgate-themed tablescape that's gameday ready. Photo by Tasha Creel.

Rally before Death Valley: Angela Marie Events on planning the perfect tailgate

LSU-themed cups of all kinds are available at The Queen Bee. Photo courtesy The Queen Bee.

Alexa, play “Callin’ Baton Rouge,” it’s football season!

This Saturday marks the official beginning of football season as the LSU Tigers face off against the Georgia Southern Eagles. Though the main event is going down in Death Valley, Tiger fans know that the pregame is just as important. Tailgating is like a perfect art form in Louisiana. The basics of a good tailgate? Food, drinks and music. But since when do LSU fans provide the bare minimum? Never. To kick off tailgating season, we talked with Angela DiVincenti Babin of Angela Marie Events to get the scoop on how to throw the perfect tailgate.

“The key for entertaining is to try not to kill yourself cooking everything!” says Babin. Food trays from restaurants like Bistro Byronz are a great way to provide good eats without the stress, she notes. “The wraps they slice are so good,” says Babin. “Love the club! Pick up a few trays for the game.”

While munching down, what’s better than an ice-cold drink in your hand? Beverages are an absolute necessity for tailgates, especially for those unapologetically hot game days. Cool down with a cucumber gimlet, says Babin, alcoholic or not. For fanatic flair, use LSU platters and checked purple or gold tablecloths. Add a special touch with personalized foam cups and koozies from The Queen Bee.

With your decorations, create an Insta-worthy atmosphere. “Selfies and social media are life now. Set up some sort of cute backdrop for selfies or group shots,” says Babin. A way to do this? Balloon garlands. If you’re not a DIY expert, Balloonantics has you covered. “And if you have a lot of kids at your tailgate, have her stay to twist and face paint,” says Babin. “That will definitely be talked about!”

Along with food and decor, comfort and entertainment are two very important pillars when mastering the art of tailgating. Include comfortable seating and fans to cool down during the late summer heat. “Hotter months are such a different experience than fall months,” says Babin. Once sweater weather arrives, provide stylish shawls to keep warm.

For entertainment, provide footballs to toss around and, of course, the legendary corn hole. “And please please, have GOOD MUSIC playing!” Babin says. “Tailgating means good food and good people. It’s a time for people to really catch up.”

For more tailgate party inspiration, check out this story from the inRegister archives.