#4 of 31: The Georgia Dome

January 15, 2011


I had tears in my eyes as we watched on TV as the Falcons lost to the Packers. We had became hometown kids after meeting and hanging out with you generous Falcon's Fans. All of you and your families, groups and thousands of friends were by far the most diverse gathering of fans we have shared fun with in any stadium. I am a child of the 60s and as such I always count the crowd. Congratulations Atlanta Falcons on your incredible fan base, you should have won...and the Zac Brown Band singing the National Anthem acapella was beautiful. Thank you for everything.

The Party Begins...

This was our first night game...so the tailgating didn't really get underway until late in the afternoon. However, there were some hearty fans in the lots much earlier cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Too late in the day we got this recipe for Linda's Loaded Hot Chocolate. Our next tailgating will be having this nourishing beverage for breakfast)

Normally we don't pay too much attention to the visiting team, but Karl (from Western Wisconsin) pulled into the our lot early on game day morning in his 18 wheeler truck cab...having detoured to the stadium after dropping off his trailer load. He was attired in Full Cheesehead regalia and happily joined the folks next to us pulling forth lots of Wisconsin cheese and genuine Wisconsin brats from his satchel to share with us all. He cooked and served them, gave us a tour of the sleeping quarters in the back of his truck cab and proceeded to somehow purchase a ticket for the sold-out game on line. Karl was the first live Cheesehead we had ever seen. (There were to be many more!)

Finally, about 3:30 in the afternoon we strapped on our cameras, power packs and flashes and set out to circle the stadium visiting as many lots and tailgaters as possible. We had two groups to hook up with and a thousand new faces to laugh with and photograph. The aromas of all the ribs, chickens, brats, and turkeys being barbecued, smoked, grilled and fried led us from one tailgating party to the next. New foods we encountered: collard greens with pot liquor, peach cobbler, fried chicken in gravy, pulled pork, bread pudding, dump salads, sweet potato casseroles, green bean and fried onion casserole, biscuits and big beautiful frosted layer cakes. There were lots of deep fat fryers (think fried okra and fried catfish) gurgling and bubbling away. There were also some some amazing mobile cookers/kitchens - huge drum barbecues on one side and running water with holding tank and counter space on the other.

The Georgia Dome looked beautiful in the late afternoon light and sunset before the game. The exterior of the huge dome has been painted to match the Falcon's team colors; red, silver and black. Ramps and walkways around one side of the stadium cast beautiful shadows and reflected the sunlight from low in the sky.

The parking at the stadium is quite spread out so it was a long walk between tailgating parties in the various lots. There were what seemed to be some unofficial lots across from the stadium where the parties and food were going strong...the only problem being the thawing of the ice and snow left them pretty muddy. That did not seem to slow anyone down.

We hooked up with Tom Dunn of the Falcons Birdwatchers Fan Club and their fabulous Fanbulance. (You may have seen them packing and tailgating in a VISA commercial). It was an honor to meet the "best tailgaters in Atlanta" as chosen by Campbell's Chunky Soup. Their showroom quality ambulance is painted inside and out with Falcon themed murals reflecting different artistic styles and there is such attention to every detail that the Fanbulance is a real work of art. I mean it when I say it will probably be in a museum some day. Check out the art watermelon. (These guys also publish their own tailgating newsletter, The Flight Plan.)

Jim Clegg (a long time veteran and really helpful Falcons Tailgater) was so nice that we decided to break our no eating or drinking rule (must protect the camera equipment) and joined his group under the only red pop-up in the Blue Lot for some delicious "possum" brats on a bun and "squirrel" chili. The minute he and his fun-loving friends heard we were from New York City they proceeded to regale us with Road Kill Recipes. Everything fresh, cause the critters here in Atlanta had been hard frozen to the roads with the recent weather! (oh my...) Jim and his friends were a hoot to be with and he has shared the recipe for his sweet and juicy brats with us. (Turns out it's not possum after all)

Three Albums of Our Photographs are now up!

1. Fans - Fun - Food 2. Food - Fans - Fun 3. Fun - Food - Fans
(did we mention the "fun"?)

Thank you again Fans of the Falcons! We would love to hear from more of you about your life as a loyal fan, how long you have been a fan or any rituals that you love to follow on game day.

All suggestions and comments are appreciated. Even if you just like the pictures, let us know below. Feel free to copy any of the enlarged photographs and use them any non-commercial way you like.

Final: Falcons 21, Packers 48


Peg, It was great to see you guys we did come back and you we off doing your thing. I cant imagine how disappointed the fans were after the game what a blow out. Please keep us posted on your adventures you guys are our heros! 

Rosie and Tim

Hey Peg,  I read your report on PlacesandPlatypie.  Looks like you had an awesome time down there.  Photos look great!  Where are you off to next?  I’ll be in Chicago.


You are very talented, great pictures and captions, Steve

Steve Lewis
Lightnin RV Rentals

Hey, IT'S SO GREAT TO HEAR FROM YOU GUYS!!!!. Must be nice to be living out your dream -- def admire you guys (I'm so jealousy...LOL) and it seems like such a perfect time, given the "nowadays" we live in....Keep me posted.


Great traveling with you vicariously.  I enjoy your blog so much.  Please continue.... 


"So glad the rings were worth the trip to the Grill.  Loved your pics of Falcon Fans and Cheeseheads!"


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