By Heather Shoning

Photography By Vanessa Miranda

Gather your GAME-DAY BUDDIES for a festive parking lot feast

Whether you attended college in Colorado or not, following our favorite in-state teams is like a sport of its own in the Centennial State. And starting the party early is a tradition—a great way to bring your friends together for games, food and fun before you head into the stadium for the big event. We’ve got inspiration for elevating your tailgating game with best-in-class decorations, plus food and drinks everyone will dive into.

Bring on The Team Spirit

Local party stores offer everything you need to amp up your team spirit with banners, streamers, bead strings, pom-poms, foam fingers and more. Be sure to pick up the napkins, tablecloths, plates and utensils you’ll need based on your tailgating menu—all in your favorite team color, of course. 

Set the Stage

Don’t forget an outdoor rug, ample folding chairs, outdoor games and anything else you want to make your tailgating party memorable. Also, consider that Colorado weather can be unpredictable—bring blankets, umbrellas and ponchos. Pick up some fun, colorful sunglasses at the party store, and throw them in a bowl so your friends can help themselves!

The Best Part: Food & Drinks

If you’re starting game day early, set up a mimosa and bloody Mary bar with plates of baked goods from your favorite local bakery to kick things off. As the days rolls on, you can switch up your tabletop fare.

Anyone can do burgers and dogs—which, of course, we love, too—but why not elevate your fan-day fare? Throw together a charcuterie table with various meats, cheeses, crackers, bread, nuts and fruit. Put a few bottles of white wine in an ice-filled bucket and a variety of reds on the table so guests can help themselves. 

Want something a little heartier to power you up for a full day of cheering on your team or to heat things up on a brisk autumn afternoon? Make a big pot of chili to be served with cornbread and fixings, plus a whiskey/bourbon bar to warm you from the inside out.