Party Plan: Have a Homegate for Your Team

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For many people, fall weekends have traditionally been dedicated to high school or college football games and tailgates to celebrate the teams. For many fans, tailgating is a seasonal lifestyle. But this fall, fans are facing a very different way to support their teams.

Many schools are forbidding tailgating in their stadium lots as well as in the college town communities for safety reasons in this pandemic. They are suggesting that fans “homegate” in their own yards or driveways on game day. Have a homegate for your team with your family or small group of friends to keep up the team celebration.

You may already have a lot of tailgating decorations for your special team that you can use. These pictures are of a Virginia Tech homegate in their colors of burgundy and orange. I used my mini-van in the end of our driveway to set up our homegate, and then we set up the grill and drink stations further out in the back yard.Across the top of my open hatchback of my van, I stretched a piece of vinyl tablecloth fabric in a VT print. You can find this kind of inexpensive team logo vinyl tablecloth fabric at most fabric stores. Sometimes I use it as I have here; sometimes I use it on the table.

The portable table is covered with an orange plastic tablecloth and two strips of a burgundy plastic tablecloth. I found two school folders for VT with the school supplies at the drugstore and stood them up as table signs, I used large binder clips to make the signs stand up. I made  a sign out of orange  construction  paper  glued  to  a piece of cardboard and held up with a large binder clip.  My sign says, “Watch up clean up the field.” Beside it is a spray bottle of Orange Crush cleaner. I also used four soccer cones that belonged to my sons for more color. I used four brown kraft gable boxes (available at most catering stores) tied up with orange and burgundy ribbons for sandwiches, coleslaw and chips. Bottles of orange Gatorade are also on the table for guests. Additional food and drinks are set up at stations in the yard. Make sure that your homegate guests wear face masks and maintain social distancing from one another in your yard. Have hand sanitizer available for guests to use.
If the game is being broadcast and you can set up a television or radio for your guests to watch/listen to, be sure to set up chairs six feet apart for them to use. We all look forward to the days that we can return to our favorite football stadiums for fantastic tailgates. But until that time, we can celebrate together in small groups with homegates in our yards.

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