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A History of Tailgating

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Tailgating is serious business at Swinomish, and on November 7, you’re invited join fellow Husky fans at 10 Sports Bar for a tailgating party like you’ve never seen before, as we watch Dawgs take on the Utes. But do you know when the first heroic Americans gathered to celebrate a sport and thus creating this beloved national pastime?

Avid sports fans will argue that tailgating parties aren’t just social events—they’re an art form, with the perfect balance of food, drinks, friends, and good-natured ribbing. And, while the history of tailgating is a little murky, it appears to pre-date American football by nearly a decade.

Pre-Football Tailgating

According to a VICE Sports report, the first tailgating party was actually held at the beginning of the Civil War, when soldiers circled wagons (it was, after all, before true trucks with tailgates) loaded with wine, whiskey, and food to prepare for battle.

Football tailgating, meanwhile, is believed to have begun with the Ivy League, where fans would after arrive by bus toting sustenance for the big game ahead. Although they’re not typically big conference competitors now, schools like Princeton and Yale were pioneers of American college football, so it’s not too shocking that their fans would develop the Sunday morning habits we still uphold today.

Tailgating in the Modern Era

Who claims to have had the first true tailgating experience, with trucks and grills and “Kiss the Chef” aprons?

The Green Bay Packers, one of the NFL’s most notoriously rabid fan bases.

They claim to have had the first true pickup truck tailgating party, though there’s not a lot of proof to back it up. Other long-standing teams may have begun circling their trucks around the same time in the 1920s.

One thing is for sure: Tailgating parties and college football games go hand-in-hand, and Swinomish hosts some of the best! Come to 10 Sports Bar to see how Swinomish does tailgating, where you can enter to win slot play, Husky tickets, and the ultimate MillerCoors Tailgating Package. It may not be a historic event, but it’ll definitely be a great time!