[9/22/2013 Chicago Steppin In Memphis]
By Shirley Floyd #steppinmemphis
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Smooth Steppers of Memphis Southern Heritage Classic-Tailgate
The Smooth Steppers of Memphis hosted its 4th Annual Southern Heritage Classic "Tailgate Party", September 14, 2013.
What comes to mind when you hear the words "Tailgate Party"? Exactly what I thought; a type of social gathering held in parking lots before, and often after an event like a concert, football game, baseball game, or other attraction. Participants use open vehicle tailgates for impromptu seating, grilling/barbecuing, access to pack ice chests with their favorite libations, food, folding chairs, and other party necessities.
Well, all of the above took place at the Smooth Steppers of Memphis's Tailgate Party. However, the "Main Attraction" was Steppin. The party was localized and encompassed a specific area of the parking lot where people spontaneous gathered around. Because this particular event has an established history of tailgating, and has developed a reputation over the years that rivals that of the event itself, partygoers and Steppers arrived hours before the event was scheduled to start.
The Tailgate Party was equipped with a large "Hardwood Floor" and perfectly laid for Steppin. The purpose was to attract interested Steppers into the Steppin Community of Memphis. There were spectators that stopped and observed the event. Some asked "how can I learn to do this". Of course, they were greeted by committee members with the information and were encouraged to attend classes.
The food was GOOD! Some of it was prepared on site and others prepared in advance and brought in on containers. Not only did we have plenty of food, there was all type of munchies available. One of my favorite foods was the fried Catfish. Yeees, at the tailgate!
With others tailgating it can be hard for your family and friends to find you in a sea of people. This was not the case. The tent was very bright and decorative, and displayed a large banner that stated "Smooth Steppers of Memphis. I am sure that there were restrictions. However, it appeared that there were not very many. So long as you stayed in your assigned area, you were pretty much free to party as you pleased as long as you weren't a trouble maker�lol.
I think the Smooth Steppers of Memphis have build seniority, because we had one of the best spots on the ground. You can say it was a really good one. It was close to the stadium, access to restrooms, and the parking lot. I didn't have to walk very far to get to the designated tailgate area at all.
We Stepped, socialized, and relaxed to some of the "Hottest Steppin Music", provided by your truly from 12:00 noon to 10:00 P.M. There's no doubt that listening to your favorite Steppin music can instantly put you in a good mood and lift your spirits.
The event is such a huge attraction, even on Facebook. One of my friends, Phil, had this to say; "I have seen it all now. That Steppin group in Memphis attends a football game, have a tailgate party, lay down a wood floor, and Step while the ribs and vittles are cooking and the game is going on. Now that's how you do it". My response to Phil was, Memphis does it BIG!
Many thanks, to all who worked so hard to make this 4th Annual Tailgate event such a success. If the ribs, hot dogs, chicken and side dishes weren't enough, then the treat of appearances by the marching band, cheerleaders, sororities and fraternities had to do it.
To all of our local Steppers, and out-of-towners if you're visiting Memphis, if you missed this event, I highly recommend attending next year. You're sure to have the best Food, Fun and Steppin.
The Smooth Steppers of Memphis traditional Tailgate Party takes place the 2nd Saturday in September every year. The party is not limited to Steppers only. It's a family affair and all ages are included. You can bring the entire family and friends out to experience the thrill of this event, and celebrate the Southern Heritage Classic.
In the words of Rose Moore; "Come Touchdown Your 7/8 With Us". You will feel special and right at home.