Christmas may be just a few days away, but there’s plenty of time to organize the ultimate Steelers Christmas tailgate. With very minimal planning, you can effortlessly transform your usual tailgating get-together into a holiday bash that’s sure to be remembered for seasons to come. Check out these tips to help you celebrate the holidays with your own Pittsburgh Christmas tailgate party.
Trim the tree and your tailgating vehicle
Arrive in style and bring the holiday spirit with you by transforming your tailgating vehicle into a black and gold sleigh of your own. Go beyond the usual Steelers décor and add a little extra Christmas spirit with a set of reindeer antlers and a Rudolph nose, which you can find at your local party store, to guide your way to a Steelers win. Incorporate a variety of team-themed auto accessories onto your ride like Steelers decals, seat covers, floor mats and license plate frames to take your holidays from red and green to black and yellow.
Once you’ve reached your tailgating spot, put up a miniature black and yellow Christmas tree from the large selection available at Kraynak’s in Hermitage. Then invite fellow tailgaters to participate in trimming your tree, Steelers style. Steelers-store.com has some of the most unique Steelers ornaments and garlands around, including bead garlands and candy cane ornaments. Top it all off with one of the many Steelers tree toppers on the market.
Go caroling in typical black and gold fashion
Grab a bunch of your most vocally talented tailgating buddies and go car to car spreading holiday cheer the way only true Steelers fans can do: by belting out your favorite black and gold-tweaked Christmas carols. Brush up on your Steelers holiday lyrics by checking out the many Steelers holiday songs posted on YouTube or stick to classics like “Here We Go Steelers” and “Puhlahmahlu” to get the crowd singing along. Go all out and rent a Santa costume and Santa’s Helpers outfits from Smallman Street’s Costume World to keep you warm and jolly while caroling.
Host a traditional Pittsburgh Christmas dinner
A Pittsburgh-style dinner just isn’t complete without the essential local cuisine of the region. Kick it all off with a variety of appetizers, such as the black and gold sandwich ring from the Oakmont Bakery, chips and dips and stuffed sweet banana peppers. For a main course, think chopped ham sandwiches served on Mancini buns, hot wings, pierogies, kielbasa or burgers. If you plan to grill, present your main meat dish seared with a big Steelers logo. Locally, Kraynak’s sells a fantastic BBQ Meat Brander ($11.99) or you can order online through a variety of websites like Amazon and ManCaveGoodies.com. Serve your traditional tailgating holiday dinner on a set of Pittsburgh Steelers 2-Pack Ultimate Party Plates ($12.99) that can also be purchased at Kraynak’s and wash it all down with Pittsburgh’s own Iron City and Rolling Rock beer.
Participate in a Steelers-themed cookie swap
Don’t worry if you’re domestically disabled when it comes to baking; there are plenty of local bakeries and restaurants that serve up their own black and gold cookies. Pick up a few boxes of Eat ‘n Park Smiley Cookies in black and yellow or put an order in at the Oakmont Bakery for their Ginger Ben cookies, Party Animal Polamalu, iced sugar football-shaped cookies or Steelers torte that serves 12-14 people. The Bethel Bakery in Bethel Park also serves one-of-a-kind Steelers cookies, including its officially licensed iced shortbread Terrible Towel cookie and chocolate chip cookie Steelers cake.
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
Jessica Wasik lives in Pittsburgh and is a graduate of Robert Morris University with a degree in English Studies. Jessica is also a contributing writer for Allegheny West Magazine. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.