The Tradition of Tailgating

It’s that time of year again, when all of Saline County starts revving up for everyone’s favorite fall event: the Salt Bowl. Despite the past years’ COVID trials, this game has been going strong since 1974. This year, the events and tailgating will be back in full swing, which gives you and others in the community the opportunity to go all out in supporting your team with all the tailgating essentials. 

The annual rivalry between the Bryant Hornets and the Benton Panthers has become a staple in Saline County culture, creating a fun competition that, in a way, brings our communities together more than apart. In addition to the big game, there are many opportunities to both have fun and give back to Saline County. 

Take the time to participate in the yearly Peanut Butter Drive to help families in need, cross your fingers in hope of being chosen for a Chick-fil-a event during halftime, and, of course, gather your family and friends together for some tailgating fun. 

It is tradition to show up to War Memorial Stadium hours before the game starts to set up your tents, chairs and games, while also firing up your grill to make all your favorite tailgate staples. Just remember, it is not all about the fun and play, although this is essential to any game; nothing makes a perfect tailgating experience like the food that is prepared. Whether you are cooking yourself or ordering out, be sure to put as much energy into the food you are serving as you do other aspects of your tailgate.

If you are looking to “keep it salty,” there are plenty of ways to “salt” up your get-together with some staple food items perfect for any football game. When it comes to appetizers, Tostitos chips and dip, a fun charcuterie board, some salty pretzels, cheesy nachos, or anything fried will do the trick. 

You can also add on to these appetizers with the classic hamburger and hotdog duo as your main course, completed with a refreshing Coke or sweet tea. Barbecued meats like ribs, pulled-pork sandwiches, and some fun meat-and-veggie skewers are also easy tailgating essentials. For side items, you can’t go wrong with some salty crinkle fries, mac and cheese, loaded baked potatoes, or even some stuffed jalapenos if you are feeling something spicy. 

And if you are focused on hosting and planning a get-together and want to enjoy the game without the stress of cooking, you can always order some pizzas, or even visit a local catering company that will do all of the hard work for you. Gina’s Catering specifically provides catering to everyone in Saline County, providing foods ranging from casseroles to salads and even various dips and spreads perfect for any appetizer. Regardless of how you decide to celebrate the game, as long as there is food on the table for everyone to enjoy, you are good to go.

While food is a big part of tailgating and football games in general, there is also a large aspect of community involved. You can sit around and catch up on life over a home-grilled burger or play a fun game of cornhole with a fan of the opposing team. Even in rivalry, there is community, and if the Salt Bowl is about one thing, that thing is uniting our community. 

In doing this, you not only continue the tradition of the Salt Bowl football game, but also the tradition of bringing people together while having fun, spirit, and a healthy dose of friendly competition along the way.

Sausage & Cream Cheese Pinwheels

Prep Time:  15 mins

Cook Time:  10 mins

Total Time:  25 mins


  • 1 roll breakfast sausage (I use half roll of Jimmy Dean Hot and half roll of Jimmy Dean Sage—gives it much more flavor)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can crescent rolls
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard


  1. Cook, brown and crumble sausage in a skillet over medium heat. Once cooked, remove excess grease.
  2. To get cream cheese extra soft, whip with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes (This is optional). Stir cream cheese, garlic powder, sausage and green onion together until combined.
  3. Roll crescent rolls out on parchment paper. Do not separate the rolls. Pinch the seams together to form one large rectangle.
  4. Spread sausage mixture on top of rolls. Roll up lengthwise and wrap roll in parchment paper and plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove roll from plastic wrap and cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices.
  6. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Great after school snack and great for tailgating!