Fall means many different things in New Orleans. Some think of the crisp, beautiful weather, others of the perpetual celebration of rampant festivals and events. But there’s one collective understanding of this saintly season’s significance: our football team. Whether you’re in town for the game, or watching it at home, we give you five tailgate and viewing party essentials to always have on hand for any member of the Who Dat Nation.
1. Grub – Tailgate-friendly food is arguably the most important item on any game day check list. Delivery staples like pizza or wings are always quick and easy options to feed the masses. If you’re in more of a Martha Stewart mood, you could make crowd accommodating snacks like salsa, hummus, veggie and cheese plates and beef or black bean chili. Bring the taste of New Orleans to the party for good luck with classics like gumbo, crawfish etouffee or red beans and rice!
2. Libations – It’s funny how well an ice cold beer or Bloody Mary pairs with a Saints game. And now that NOLA Brewing Blonde Ale comes canned, it’s the first local beer that you can conveniently drink from a can without the worry of heavy, breakable glass bottles. There are many spirited cocktails to make just for game day, like the Black and Gold Mojito created at the New Orleans Ritz-Carlton, The Super Saint and The Saints Safety Smash, all with recipes on nola.com.
3. Tunes – To get properly pumped up, blasting some Saints jams is crucial for tailgates. Since New Orleans is the home of Cash Money, there’s of course Lil Wayne and plenty of other rap and hip hop songs written about the Saints. And though Louis Armstrong wasn’t referring to the Saints when singing “The Saints Go Marching In,” that’s certainly the attribution to the iconic song now in New Orleans. Use our playlist for all the best Saints songs.
4. Black and Gold – If you forget anything for a Saints tailgate, don’t let it be the black and gold. If you don’t have an official Saints jersey, any combination of black and gold attire will suffice. It doesn’t end at the clothing, though. Face paint and pom poms are encouraged and black and gold jello shots are fun and easy to make – just add food coloring or flavor with lemon and blackberry.
5. Accessories – To make your game day even rowdier than it will inevitably be – because, let’s face it: this is the Saints and this is New Orleans – there are some Saints paraphernalia to bring in tow. Because a second line could break out at any time in this city, and Saints games are conducive to such an opportunity, black and gold parasols are definitely in order for tailgates. In addition, to invoke the power of Voodoo for good luck, Voodoo dolls of the other team’s mascot are always good to have around. Lastly, to really boost fan morale, bang cowbells in enthusiastic response to touchdowns and sacks.