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Taste of LSU Tiger Tailgating – A Game Day Teaser

It was a sultry August afternoon in Louisiana’s capital. As I made my way down River Road, the castle-like Old State Capitol building caught the corner of my eye.

How many nights I’d enjoyed glamorous weddings of friends and family here...

But there was no time to reminisce. I was on a mission.

Baton Rouge Old State Capitol

I had a tailgating party to get to. It was one week before Louisiana State University’s first home football game. A slew of breweries, restaurants. and other Baton Rouge businesses were holding court in The River Center (what we knew a The Centroplex as kids) for the kick off celebration of what is easily Baton Rouge’s most popular season: LSU football.

Taste of LSU Tiger Tailgating

LSU Tiger Tailgating

LSU Tiger Tailgating

LSU Tailgating cake for the low, low price of…. $250.99… what?

LSU Tiger Tailgating LSU Tiger Tailgating LSU Tiger Tailgating

Tailgating on game day is so engrained in Baton Rouge culture that people literally plan their lives around the games. Weddings strategically fall on bye weeks. Vacations are planned around the Alabama or Texas A&M games. RVs begin filling the university’s parking lots the Thursday before a Saturday night game.

The excitement in the air is palpable. It seems like the entire city is in Tiger Stadium on Saturday game night. When Chris Christensen interviewed me about Baton Rouge for The Amateur Traveler, I gushed on about the importance of LSU football to the average Baton Rouge local.

LSU Tiger Tailgating

My first time at this event, I had no idea what to expect. Food, beer, music….. I assumed, but I didn’t realize how much food and beer and ….  shots there would be.

LSU Tiger Tailgating

Quality Craft Beer

LSU Tiger Tailgating

I loved sampling all of the beer from the various regional breweries who showed up to show off their malts, hops and yeast.

One of the highlights was the malty, sweet flowery hops of Covington Brewhouse‘s Bayou Bock (their interpretation of the classic Bavarian Heller Maibock). I met owner and President David Arbo, who explained that the brewhouse, once called Heiner Brau, is the second oldest active brewery in Louisiana. Mr. Arbo was a physics teacher who was “breaking beer” (according to his students) when he transitioned into the business, purchasing the operation in 2013. 

LSU Tiger Tailgating

One of many regional breweries attending Taste of Tiger Tailgating

Tasty Eats

Boudin is one of my favorite Louisiana foods. A spicy sausage made from pork rice dressing, it can also be fried into a local favorite: boudin balls.

Remember my post last year about visiting an old favorite, Tony’s Seafood? Their boudin balls are the best!

LSU Tiger Tailgating

Tony’s Seafood boudin balls. Mmmmm.

Every other vendor seemed to offer boudin, all competing for the best balls in the room.

There was a lot delicious Louisiana seafood as well. And gumbo (a tailgating staple).

LSU Tiger Tailgating

Blackened alligator, one of my FAVORITES.

Nashville Meets Baton Rouge- The Jamie Lynn Spears Band

What’s a tailgating party without some music?

As a Louisiana native, I’ve always tepidly claimed Britney Spears as one of our state celebrities. From the small town of Kentwood, she put LA on the pop world map in 1999.

Despite her extraordinary success, the gal’s a bit of a mess (depending on when you catch her, I guess). I always had mixed feelings about her representing our state.

So, you can imagine my skepticism when hearing her little sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, was “headlining” the event.

Wait, what? Jamie Lynn Spears sings?  Oh yea she does! And man, does she have some PIPES!

LSU Tiger Tailgating

 

Jamie Lynn Spears Band Jamie Lynn Spears Band

Jamie Lynn Spears Band

I love music. Not the top-40 Brtiney kind, but the Radio Head, Tori Amos, Bjork, MMJ, Ásgeir kind.

I love the folksy, “mountain music” sound of a banjo and fiddle.

Jamie Lynn Spears Band

I’m not the biggest “country music” fan per se, but I do live in (country) Music City- Nashville. And so does Ms. Spears, apparently. I had no idea.

Jamie Lynn Spears Band Jamie Lynn Spears Band

I appreciate and admire her separation from her sister’s top-pop stardom. Her band’s sound is authentic, soulful, and it just works.

She sings affectionately about her laid-back home state, preferring it to the craziness of the other LA (Hollywood). Embracing her “small town girl” status, she shies away from the celebrity limelight (or at least claims she does).

I felt myself feeling a little Louisiana pride. You go, girl! This is a sound I can embrace.

Trying to remain true to her Louisiana roots, she sings about where she’s from, where everything’s sacred and nothing gets done, in the catchy song Run.   Jamie Lynn Spears Band Jamie Lynn Spears Band

I must say, after hearing her band, I was amped up to seek her out back “home” in Nashville. I wonder if she plays a lot locally?

Jamie Lynn Spears Band

Leaving the event, I was fired up for LSU football season….and loving my home town just a little bit more.

LSU Tiger Tailgating

Tiny Tiger, working on his roar

Now I just need to get home for a game!

What’s your favorite tailgating experience??

 

 

Disclosure

I was a guest of Visit Baton Rouge and received compensation and free entry in to Taste of Tiger Tailgating. All opinions are my own.

 

Baton Rouge

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2 Responses to Taste of LSU Tiger Tailgating – A Game Day Teaser

  1. Rusha Sams October 2, 2014 at 7:30 PM #

    What a fun post! We’ve grown up in Louisiana and have relatives who would never miss a home game — so we know what you mean when you say football is engrained! Believe it or not, it’s about the same way here in Knoxville for the UT games, even though we don’t win as many games as the Tigers do. Tailgating is big business here — we even have folks who will cater, put up tents and chairs, etc. All you have to do is show up with your friends! Best wishes for fun during the season — and Geaux Tigers!

    • Lindsay October 3, 2014 at 12:55 PM #

      Thanks, Rusha! It’s so fun to write about “home.” I use quotes because I have two homes, I guess. Where I live- Nashville, and where I spent most of my life- Baton Rouge. Football season is so fun. We don’t always get to make it to a game every year, but when we do, I just love the culture of it all! I’ve never been to a UT game in Knoxville, but I have heard that the tailgating is pretty fun there as well! Not too far from me! Maybe I’ll make it out sometime!

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