For Carolina Panthers fans who live in our apartments in Charlotte, NC, the arrival of fall doesn’t just mean a break in the humidity, the return of seasonal beers and the chance to bundle up in cozy flannels again; it also means it’s time again to spend your weekends cheering on your team. Planning the perfect tailgate to enjoy it all is essential.
Football and barbecue are about as American a combination as you can get. Plus, a feast full of pork is fitting since you’ll be watching the pigskin get tossed around. Start with a spread from Midwood Smokehouse. In the South, no tailgate is complete without fried chicken, so you’ll want to consult Charlotte’s legendary go-to: Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits for the Jumbo Tailgate package. And don’t forget the universal language of football: chicken wings. Whisky River is famous for its signature wings. Looking to man the grill yourself? Pick up savory steaks and gourmet meats ready for firing at Meat & Fish Co. Of course, we’d be remiss to skip dessert. Pile a plate high with Amelie’s French Bakery’s adorable Panthers-themed macarons and load a tiered platter with blue and black paw print cupcakes from Publix.
The ultimate tailgate requires an expert rotation of chilled beverages on hand. For spirit-free and kid-friendly beverages that hit the spot, opt for Bojangles’ sweet tea, which already comes with your Jumbo Tailgate meal, or Midwood Smokehouse’s lemonade. For something a little stronger, swing by NoDa Brewing Company and grab a pack of Jam Session to go. NoDa has also partnered with The Roaring Riot Panthers Fan Club to create a new rye pale ale named after the group. Members of Brewpublik, the Charlotte beer-delivery startup, can even have cold ones personally delivered to their tailgates if arranged at least a day in advance and for a group of 15 or more. On a budget? Don’t forget about Bud Light’s special Panthers cans, which come emblazoned with the famous feline we all know and love.
You’ll also want to have your lawn games ready for action. Plus, once you’re done chowing down it’s probably not a bad call to get up and move a little. What better way to burn off some calories than challenging your fellow fans to a game of cornhole? For the avid fan, a true gameday game session should include Panthers-themed boards and bean bags to keep your team spirit firing on all cylinders. For more ways to get your group up and moving and keep the adrenaline pumping, pick up a ladderball toss game set or a washer toss kit and let the fun—quite literally—fly.
Tailgating has become increasingly popular throughout the country and especially so in the Southeast during football season.
To make sure you get the perfect spot, city parking websites, like preferredparking.com, e-zparking.net and parkcharlotte.com, allow you to reserve parking or tailgating spots.