Steeplechase of Charleston is just days away and it’s tailgate time! We’ve assembled a list of THE best tailgate ideas to bring the class of a VIP ticket and the intimacy of a rail-side experience all into one. Relinquish the painstaking Pinterest scrolls and aimless Google searches, and look no further– we’ve got you covered.

Set Up

It’s all about the table set up. Get in touch with the artisans of our Vendor Village and get your setup on display with a cute tablecloth and platters of your best dishes. Keep in touch with Derby fashion and go bold! Think bright, pastel colors and intricate patterns. Adorn the table with flower arrangements and decorative horse ribbons.

Try your hand at coordinating a theme! Rep your university, deck out with preppy patterns or create a Steeplechase-esque theme with small horse statues and bouquets. Pull at classic fall elements with pumpkins for decoration or a warmer color scheme.


You’ve got a full day at Steeplechase of Charleston, so make sure to cover all of your cravings. Get in touch with Charleston cuisine by making BBQ sliders, pimento cheese deviled eggs or chicken and waffle skewers. Top it all off with one of this year’s signature cocktails, a Lexus Cup Whiskey Mash or an Ice Pick, to elevate your tailgate to classy cuisine.

Pack your Yetis and bundle up your bottles– fashion a wine cooler amongst your spread and keep all your tailgaters happy. Finish the day with some sweet lemon bars or cream cheese brownies for chocolate lovers.


Bringing the whole family to Steeplechase of Charleston? Get ready for a full day of eager munchers with these kid-friendly recipes. Keep the kids happy with these mini corn dogs and reward your efforts with a mint julep. Stock up on extra napkins for sticky fingers and switch out the juleps for some homemade lemonade

Don’t forget dessert! Bring out the crowd-pleasers with simple, bite-sized treats like these mini whoopie pies or these beautiful sugar cookies.

Things to Note

Don’t forget the essentials– patterned napkins and cutlery will be essential for staying tidy on race day. While we want your bellies to be satisfied and your platters to be full, we ask that attendees refrain from bringing grills with an open flame or propane. Prep those items beforehand, get creative in your menu, and leave it all on display! Inspire attendees with tailgate ideas for #SteepleCHS 2022.