Our resident entertaining experts Marcella Kragel and Ina Miller have some pre-pre-game advice for making your next tailgate outing as relaxed, effortless and fun as a party on blacktop should be.

Here at Ina Marcella Events, we’re a great team and always cheer each other on both personally and professionally. However, there are a couple of times a year when we become bitter rivals. You guessed it: We’re a house divided! During U of L versus UK games, things get a little tense at work. Fortunately, we know how to throw a great tailgate no matter which team we’re rooting for.

We’ve found that when it comes to tailgating, timing is everything. Arrive four hours before the game begins. You want to have enough time to relax and get organized so you don’t waste a second of the action on cleanup once it starts. Hopefully, then, the good party juju you’ve created will carry through to your team as well!


Think about cleanup before you set-up: Use products that can easily be recycled or repurposed. A six-pack container becomes a great condiment holder.  A case of beer can be a cooler; take the beer out put it in a bag, place back in box and add ice.

Jell-O shots are easy and fun, plus you can use your team colors.

Our favorite drink accessory is the Yeti line of cups, koozies, coffee canisters, beer growlers and coolers.  They keep everything cold, or hot, for hours.

Our go-to food for the grill is skewers.  They can be prepared the day before and you can vary meat and veggie options to please everyone’s palate.  They also transport in Ziploc bags and require no utensils to eat.


A pop-up tent, folding table and chairs are essentials.  Invest in sturdy options that collapse easily and pack flat.

A twin-size fitted sheet in your team color can be a tablecloth. It’s wind-proof and washable.

Frozen water bottles make great ice packs that you can drink once they thaw.

Once weather turns cooler, pack hand warmers!

Don’t forget a portable speaker-- whether tuned to pre-game sports talk or favorite tunes.

Pack trash bags, and bring some for recycling! The camper’s “leave no trace” motto definitely applies.


Decor is where you can have fun! Pennants in team colors are easy to make, easy to transport and are always a cute touch.

Decorate your cooler using stickers and paint.

Ask an artistic friend to do an original face paint job for the game, or order temporary tattoos to share.

Get in the competitive spirit with games of your own. Our favorites are corn hole, beer pong, and giant Jenga!  All three are easy to pack with the rest of your gear.

Ina Marcella Events is a full service event planning and creative consulting business co-owned by Ina Miller and Marcella Kragel. With shared backgrounds in the arts and non-profit management, and a mutual passion for community engagement, Ina and Marcella have developed a unique approach to event planning aimed at creating inspired one-of-a-kind events for their clients.   Ina and Marcella have been friends for twenty years and each is married with three kids.

Posted on 2017-09-08 by Marcella Kragel and ina miller