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Hawaiian Themed Tailgate Party

Hawaiian tailgate party sake toast to victory
sake toast to a successful season

Hawaiian tailgate party - Hawaiian dress with tropical drink
enjoying a mai tai

Hawaiian tailgate kalua pig sandwich
kalua pig sandwich (super easy)

Hawaiian tailgate party frozen mojito

frozen mojito mix (nice & slushy)


Let's face it, we all want our team to win, but not all of us have winning teams. In fact, sometimes our teams are downright woeful. I should know. Hawaii went on an 18 game losing streak in 1998-1999. But that didn't stop us from having fun at the stadium,...at least while we tailgated. Tailgate parties are inherently fun. Adding a theme can turn you tailgate party from good to great! And it's easier than you think. In fact, it many ways, it is just like throwing a Hawaiian theme luau party at home, only easier.

When you party in the parking lot, you have to strip away all the party frills and keep just the essentials. And those essentials boil down to just a few simple things. Clothing. Food. Drink. Never mind wall decorations, props, and fancy authentic Hawaiian food. Sure, if you're an overachiever, you can still wear leis, drink out of colorful cups, and eat out of tropical paper plates, and make exotic dishes. But if you are like most of us, you want to follow the 80/20 rule and get the best results with the least effort.

The first and most obvious thing is to have the ladies wear fun Hawaiian dresses and for the guys to wear bold colorful Hawaiian shirts. If you do nothing else, even if you just have regular American tailgate food, this will give your tailgate party instant Hawaiian flair. Do just this and you will feel like you're having more fun than if you just wore regular clothes. If you are really feeling aggressive, then sure, go ahead and wear cheap silk or kukui nut leis.

Next is the food. After all, tailgating is all about the food. Actually, for some people it is probably all about the drinks. But the food is what will literally give your party a Hawaiian flavor. One of the easiest things to make is a Kalua Pig sandwich. In any other part of the country, this might just be called a pulled pork sandwiches. Just follow one of our Kalua Pig recipes the night before (or the day of the game), reheat the meat on the grill (in tin foil), put it on some bread, and voila, you just made yourself a Kalua Pig Sandwich! Now, if you are trying to impress a particular lady (or guy) at the party, we recommend Hawaiian Babyback Ribs. It's more work. But there's more reward.

Finally, drinks. Unless you have a blender with you, it's really hard to make the kind of slushy tropical drinks that you could order at a bar. One of my friends actually did bring a blender (powered by a generator) and made slushy Mai Tais and Margaritas. But usually, we just have the normal assortment of beer (for the blue collar in us), wine (for the sophisticated in us), wine coolers, and sake (to toast our team to victory, which often doesn't work). But our friends at a local liquor store introduced us to a line of easy-to-make slushy Mojito and Margarita mixes. You just open the bag, add rum and club soda, then seal the bag and put it in the freezer for 6 hrs. On game day, just throw the bag in an iced cooler and take it to the game. When your pour it, you'll have a nice icy drink that you would normally enjoy on vacation.

There you have it! It's that easy. Of course, there are some common sense tailgate tips that will help make your tailgate party more enjoyable. Remember to bring tents, lots of chairs, and enough tables for all your food. Park close enough to a trash can so you can throw stuff away easily, but not so close that you are affected by the flies, smell, or other undesirables. Park near a bathroom following the same guidelines. Close, but not too close. Plan your caravan of cars ahead of time so you can park in the same area and create a party zone between the cars or adjacent to them. Walkie-talkies can help your group stay in communication if you get separated on the way to the stadium. And last, but not least, bring lots of water so you can stay hydrated while you eat, drink, and enjoy life, football, food, and friends.