Family weekend is prime time for tailgating at Ball State football games. It is just days away, on Sept.16. Tailgating is a family-friendly, cheap, and fun event. Tailgate fields open four hours before kickoff at 11 a.m., with the game at 3 p.m. Tailgating ends 15 minutes before kickoff.

1. Food and Drinks

When preparing for the tailgate festivities, it is crucial to have a yummy spread of finger foods: maybe pigs in a blanket, walking tacos, veggie platters and brownies that have been shaped into little footballs with a powdered sugar dusting on top. Brooklynn Guerrettaz has her own favorites. “I love my momma’s homemade biscuits and gravy, they make for the best tailgate breakfast,” she said. As for drinks, many may enjoy a cold beer or a mimosa. If you do, make sure to drink responsibly and of course no hard liquor or glass bottles! They’re not allowed. For the cooler games a nice cup of hot cocoa is always a smart move.

2. Music

“Whenever I'm there I always listen to the speakers that Sig Ep brings since we have registered tailgate spots there,” according to Ben Park. Grab a speaker and aux cord and go! Since its 2017, most people have the ability to have a mini computer at their fingertips, smartphones. Apps like Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Music can help get the party going for game day. Spotify even made a “tailgating party” playlist.

3. Games

Cornhole, ladder golf, water pong, and kan jam are a few popular games that can be spotted at tailgates. Rebecca Shrode is a big fan. “I love cornhole because it's different than most games and easy to learn.” These games can be homemade or picked up at a local sporting goods store ranging from $15 to $50. The only games you won’t be seeing are drinking games.

4. Friends and Family

Tailgating is a family-friendly event, according to Ball State student Katie McLaughlin. “My favorite thing about tailgate is being able to celebrate the traditions of Ball State with my family and friends. Grilling out, playing corn hole, and mingling.” It is important to be aware of what is said or done. In other words, if grandma wouldn’t approve you probably shouldn’t do it.

5. Dress accordingly

Throw on a Ball State shirt or hoodie depending on the weather and that’s the Cardinal spirit! Don’t have a Ball State t-shirt? It’s okay, red, white, and black are three major colors people can wear to tailgate that help show support for Ball State University. Hunter Eutsey, a member of Sigma Chi fraternity takes it to the next level. “I love dressing up in ridiculous outfits. That's what I’ll miss the most after graduating.” Feel free to jazz it up a bit, face paint, hats, feather boa, and crazy socks.