The Ultimate Tailgating Checklist: What You Need for Race Day

By Ryan Biddix


Get ready for a day of unrivaled fall fun at The Steeplechase of Charleston! Whether you’re a seasoned tailgating pro or a newbie looking to join the fun, we’ve got the ultimate checklist to ensure you have a blast at this year’s horse racing event at Stono Ferry Racetrack on Nov. 12.


  • Tickets & Parking Passes

Make sure you have your tickets and parking passes ready on your phone. You wouldn’t want to miss the action because of this!

  • Stylish Attire

Dress to impress in your finest race-day attire. Think sundresses and dapper suits, but be mindful of the weather when planning your outfit.

  • Comfortable Footwear

Whether cheering for your favorite competitor or browsing through the Merchant Market, Steeplechase is an all-day outdoor event so you’ll be on your feet a lot. Wear comfortable shoes, or even boots, to complement your clothes.

  • Canopy or Tent

Protect yourself from the sun (or rain) with a pop-up canopy or tent to create a shaded oasis.

  • Folding Chairs & Blankets

Portable seating is a must for enjoying a day at the racetrack comfortably. Cozy blankets could also come in handy if there’s cooler weather.

  • Tables & Linens

Set up a sturdy table with elegant linens to create an inviting and organized tailgating space. (Think upscale college football tailgating in the South.)

  • Picnic Spread

Bring a picnic basket filled with delicious food such as sandwiches, salads and snacks to keep everyone satisfied. Check out tailgating recipes here!

  • Beverages

Stock up on a variety of beverages that will quench your thirst throughout the day. For adults, bring champagne, wine or beer. For kids, bring juice boxes, iced tea or lemonade. Don’t forget water to keep everyone hydrated.

  • Cooler & Ice 

Keep your drinks and perishables cool throughout the day with a trusty cooler filled with ice or ice packs. Go big with a Yeti or invest in a cooler backpack, which makes transporting drinks much easier.

  • Cups & Utensils

Pack reusable or disposable cups, wine glasses, plates and utensils for your dining and drinking pleasure. No glass is allowed.

  • Race Program

Pick up a free program to stay informed about the horses, jockeys and race schedule.

  • Sunscreen & Hats

Protect your skin from the sun’s rays with sunscreen, and don’t forget a stylish hat for extra flair and protection. But if you do forget a hat, there will be many for sale at the Merchant Market – from trucker caps to wide-brimmed hats.

  • Cash & Cards

Don’t forget your wallet for when you’re perusing the booths in Merchant Market.

  • Binoculars

Get a better view of the action on the track with a pair of binoculars.

  • Smiles and Good Vibes

Last but not least, bring your positive energy and enthusiasm for a day of horse racing fun in the Lowcountry.


Now that you’ve got your checklist, you’re all set for a memorable (and well prepared) day of tailgating at The Steeplechase of Charleston. Gather your friends and family, set up your tailgate, and let the races begin!


Want to avoid the hassle and have your tailgate set up for you before you arrive? Then consider purchasing the Tailgate Tent Package which includes 1 10×10 tent, 1 table, 1 linen tablecloth, and 4 outdoor folding chairs. Limited packages available. Find more details here.