The picture is of my friend Scott and myself with some new friends who call themselves the Flamingo Sisters. You can find them on Facebook.
This has been a family tradition for us for many years. Our kids have grown up listening to Buffett music all their lives, so they know the words to most of his songs. It is part of their required education growing up in the Messerli home.
As a sailor myself, I have been listening to Jimmy since about 1976. Back then he was on cassette tape and vinyl albums. Some of you kids out there don't know what those are. My first Buffett Concert was in 1991 in Denver and I have been hooked ever since.
Buffett and his band provide a unique concert experience the is unmatched by anyone in the business. His legion of Parrottheads show up early and the party gets started by tailgating in the parking lot. Many venues open as early as 8:00 in the morning which allows for a full day of carninval like activities. This year the gates opened at about 2:00 PM, so we had to pack all of our fun into about 6 hours prior to the 8:00 PM concert.
Over the years we have tried to perfect the tailgating experience. To be a true tailgater you have to be prepared for a full day of fun. Some of the basics required are a cooler, a tent, a bar, a grill, a pool and whatever else you can dream up to make the day enjoyable.
Coolers come in all shapes an sizes, I would suggest a large one with wheels. The wheels will allow you to move it around easier or ride it. We found a few other modified versions which are shown here.
|Cooler Grill combination|
Some folks get by without a bar, but to be in the big leagues of tailgaters you will need a bar. You will find many types of bars from just a table to some that are ornate and covered with palm fronds.
|Palm frond version|
|Beautiful Teak bar|
The weather this year was extremely hot. To keep the sun off of you and to keep your beverages cool you will need a tent. We purchased an E-Z Up brand which provide us with alot of space for our pool and friends.
While your tailgating you will need to eat. So a nice grill is needed to cook up some Cheeseburgers in Paradise. My wife surprized me on my birthday this year with an authentic Margaritaville Grill complete with articulating tailgate hitch. This is the ultimate tailgating accessory!
Temps this years during the concert were in the 90s. To keep from getting heat stroke we brought our trusty pool. Others cool off with dunk tanks or a big sippy slides.
|LandShark infested pool!|
As you can see, tailgating is a real big deal for us at the Jimmy Buffett concerts. I think his concerts are so popular because he provides us an escape from the world's problems, even if it is just for a few hours. Not once did I think about the world economy, the finacial crisis, the election, my dwindling 401K, our national debt or the housing crisis while I was at the concert. All those problems just melt away as we listen to his music. For a few short hours we get to get on board with Jimmy and he takes us to that magical place called Margaritaville where the weather is always perfect and the beer is always cold!
If you ever get a change to go to one of his concerts, I highly recommend it. It is a life changing experience! I hope everyone has a great 4th of July celebration wherever you are.