Tips, traditions and advice from a Penn State insider on the best ways to tailgate at a Nittany Lions game this college football season.
What exactly does "drinking from the duck" mean? Joe Gordon, President of the State College Quarterback Club, details his past traditions as a student and the current features of a Penn State tailgate that make it so special.
Where should you park? Penn State police services do a great job with traffic. As an insider tip, pay for a premium parking pass (typically, an annual commitment; however, game day passes are sometimes available). These include purple, pink, brown lot etc. and are better because access is granted through special routes, shortening the time to your tailgating location. Otherwise, arrive early...at least 4 hours before the game. Bring chairs, food, beverages, a tent canopy for inclement weather and to fight the sun early season, and plenty of clothes.
How should you dress? There’s no specific dress code as most fans where blue and white or business casual.
What traditions set the school apart? Each tailgate has its own traditions. My tailgating dates back to my time as a student. Our tradition was to have first-time tailgaters with us to drink from "the duck." This usually involves drinking from a wooden duck with a few ounces of beer, liquor, etc. Each week, someone new comes. That is tradition! Lastly, you must see the players arrive on the traditional "blue buses" to the stadium. Everyone honks their horn as they drive up to the stadium. They walk a short distance to enter the stadium to crowds of adoring fans. Another must-do is have Creamery ice cream. One of the best ice creams in the country; and if you love it, ship some home on dry ice.
What’s the number one reason for college football fans to make Penn State a bucket-list item? The sheer size and variety of tailgating, volume of the stadium during game time, and Creamery ice cream.