Triangle To-Do: ACC football tailgating

Posted on 08/23/11 No Comments

NC State, Carolina and Duke have fun tailgate parties

It’s easy to imagine that a community recognized nationally for bringing tailgating to professional hockey would really show itself come football season. Thus, if you get the chance this fall, head out to the first tailgate party you can at any one of the three ACC football stadiums within the Triangle.

The first few weeks of the season are always going to a bit warm around the grill, but it’s football season in the south, so somehow it’s tolerable. Plus, that’s why we have coolers and beverages like beer.

Usually though, the main draw of an ACC tailgate is going to be the food, which can vary from fast food simple to high-end, multi-course catered delicacies. It’s the variety that makes tailgating so much fun. (Same goes for the people—you never know who’re going to meet.) Only at a tailgate party can you start a meal with your hand buried in a bag of Doritos and move on to a plate of grilled oysters. You should always leave room for desert too, especially if someone brought banana pudding.

Some people like their motorhomes and plasma television hook-ups and others remain pure to the tradition, sitting on the back of a pick-up with a Weber kettle and a stack of pork ribs. Regardless of how it’s pulled off, any tailgate is worth attending.

Football season in the Triangle tends to gel the community, despite the rivalries. Plus, the start of football season means basketball isn’t that far away, which—let’s face it—is the bigger draw in the ACC. But the divide is closing.

Duke, Carolina and NC State all have their own unique tailgating atmospheres. If you can attend all of them, do so. You may find your affiliation called into question as a result, but who really cares? You’re there for the food.

Here are the schedules:

NC State Wolfpack
North Carolina Tar Heels
Duke University Blue Devils

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