By Victoria Cullinan
There’s nothing like the energy and excitement that overwhelms campus during the days leading up to Homecoming weekend.
Not only does Homecoming incorporate family, friends and fun activities into one jam-packed day of awesomeness, but it also means football and the tailgates that accompany it.
Tailgates have always been a great way to hang out and bond with family and friends back at home, but here at Union they are even more exciting.
Tents and fold up chairs line every inch of the parking lots surrounding the football field and people arrive super early to get the good times rolling.
Chatter and the smell of barbecue fill the air, and there’s not one second where you’re left standing without some kind of food to taste.
My first Homecoming tailgate experience was definitely one to remember. As a freshman on the softball team, I was both eager and a little nervous to spend some quality time with my new teammates and their families. Just about everyone and their families showed up with bags and bags full of food, both homemade and store-bought.
It didn’t take very long for the grill to light up and the plates to be passed around; right off the bat everyone was talking and having a great time.
There was everything you could imagine to eat, from hotdogs and burgers to all sorts of pasta salads and even some homemade venison chili (courtesy of Dani Hennel’s ‘16 dad). We even had cookies and brownies for dessert, although by the time that came rolling around I was absolutely stuffed.
Music was blasting from car radios and speakers and we were all having a relaxing and fun-filled time.
Tailgate parties next to us and other sports teams would drop by to hang out and just about everyone was wearing Union colors and hats.
Most importantly, everyone was wearing a smile and my family and I got to better know all my teammates and their families.
The food gradually began to disappear as the clock ticked closer to game time and eventually we all went over to watch the game and to cheer the Dutchmen on.
Overall, it was an amazing experience, one that brought our team closer. It also allowed us to come together and support another athletic team at Union.
Tailgating is a great way to enjoy family, friends and your school, especially on special occasions like Homecoming. After all, there’s no better way to bond than over food!