Tailgating and football go together like peanut butter and jelly.
This week, fans of the Minden Crimson Tide are busting out the grills and games for a “Tailgating Extravaganza” behind the new home bleachers prior to the Tide’s rivalry matchup with North Webster.
Jeff Rhodes, the man behind the event, says the tailgate is an attempt to revitalize the spirit and fellowship that spawned during Minden’s historic 2006 season.
“My cousin Brady Dunn and some of his classmates started tailgating at Minden games during that season,” Rhodes said. “He called me recently and said, ‘Let’s bring back the tailgating’, so I can’t take credit for the idea.”
What Rhodes can take credit for is the initiative needed to organize a community event. Rhodes held tailgates last season, saying he fed roughly 60-100 people, but hopes higher numbers will come out Friday night.
“Minden High football has a strong tradition in this community,” Rhodes said. “It’s a big thing. My grandmother told me stories about how back then everybody got off work early on Friday to go to Minden football games. We want to bring that tradition back. I feel like our numbers are going to grow this year.”
Rhodes paid for last year’s tailgates completely out of his own pocket, but in the spirit of community bonding, says donations are welcome.
“I’ll have a bucket out for people to donate if they want to,” Rhodes said. “If they don’t want to, that’s fine too. I just love Minden football. I want people to come out and enjoy it. I want to see people standing around sharing stories about Minden football, laughing and having a good time.”
This week’s tailgating menu will feature hot dogs and sausage. Rhodes is bringing a cornhole set for entertainment, as well as a cooler of waters for refreshments.
The fun will begin at 5 p.m. and continue up until kickoff.
“This is all about our Minden community,” Rhodes said. “We want it to be big and for Minden football to be recognized community-wide.”