By Erin McKeon
The Daily Sentinel
Lumberjack tailgaters will usher in the football games in a new way this season after Stephen F. Austin State University implemented new rules, locations and ideas for tailgating on campus.
One thing is clear, though, when you hear the band, it's game time.
"We're going to start a new tradition with the band where they stage in Birdwell Plaza (located off North Street and East College) and the band will do a pre-game concert an hour and a half before every football game," SFA Assistant Athletic Director John Branch said. "When they're ready to go to the stadium, they'll start marching through, so when you hear the band going through the campus, that's your sign to know it's time to start the football game."
In grassy areas around the forestry building, on Raguet Street (on campus property), along East College and Hayter streets and around the Ag Pond. Parking in these areas is not allowed and tailgating supplies must be carried to these locations from designated load-in zones or parking areas.
Roping or taping off an area for use is not allowed and those who tailgate are encouraged to set up their tents, use the space they need and be courteous to others, Branch said.
Donors have designated parking areas and can tailgate in the grassy areas directly around those parking lots, Branch said.
RV owners can call Branch's office at (936) 468-3501 to get a permit and park at the Janice Pattillo Early Childhood Research Center, he said.
The side streets off Raguet, including E. California, Lloyd, Blount and Wettermark, in the Aikman Drive Parking Garage, along East College Street and Wilson Drive, including the Wilson Drive Parking Garage and adjacent lots, at Hall 20 or in the Community Lot at the intersection of North University Drive and East College Street.
Small grills that can be carried by two people.
Tents and canopies, with amenities kept confined within the space and not on sidewalks, drive lanes or walkways.
Generators must have a noise-reducing device.
Deep fryers and boiling pots are allowed, as long as grease is disposed of in proper containers and not poured on the ground or down storm drains.
Barbecue grills on trailers.
Kegs and glass containers are not allowed in tailgate areas. Generators without noise-reducing devices.
Pets, other than service animals, are not allowed.
No organization, department, business or individual may offer any food, non-alcoholic beverages, goods or services for sale (including donations and fundraisers) at official tailgate activities except those officially contracted by the SFA to provide such services.
There are a variety of things you can bring to entertain yourself while tailgating and ensure you do it in style. Of course, the more SFA-branded items you bring, the more spirit is shown and the more creative tailgating events can get, Branch said.
Some local bookstores are in the process of ordering more SFA items, including tents, chairs, flags, washers, Cornhole sets, grilling utensils, aprons, cups, Tervis tumblers, napkins, paper plates and more, he said.
Cornhole, hacky sack, washers, cards, dominoes and frisbee.
"One thing we encourage people to do is arrive early. Try to take advantage of the 8 a.m. open time - get there, get your spot established by setting up your tent and go home," Branch said, "then get your things and your family and friends and come back at whatever time you choose to come."
A cooler on wheels is a good idea to bring along, he said.
"We've talked to several schools about how people bring in their stuff for tailgating, and they'll get a wagon, and pull it loaded with tailgate supplies on that," he said.
Other schools have said people use two-wheel dollies or simply take advantage of staking down their tents early.
At every home game, the SFASU Alumni Association will set up a tent at the corner of Raguet and Hayter streets in front of the Early Childhood Research Center and across from Grace Bible Church so people who don't want to set up their own tailgating sites can still take part in the event, walk over to the spot, purchase a meal and eat and relax Branch said.
Be mindful of underground utilities when staking tents and identify those areas before staking.
All barbecue grills, propane or otherwise, must be attended at all times. Hot coals must be doused and properly disposed of in designated coal dumpsters. Open pit fire devices are strictly prohibited. Cooking grease should be disposed of in proper containers.
Throw away all trash or pack it out. Trash cans and portable restrooms will be strategically placed throughout the tailgate areas to help out, as well.
Groups hosting tailgate parties are responsible for providing their own designated drivers.