By Brian Rice KNOXVILLE, Tenn.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.-- When you're looking for Jim Call and Terry Turner's tailgate party each week, all you have to do is find the chandelier. It's one of the unique features that their group has each week at their setup inside Tailgate Tennessee in Circle Park.
The lighting isn't the only unique feature under the sprawling tent. Orange and white couches are set up around the flatscreen TV that come with the Tailgate Tennessee service, while cocktail tables trimmed with Smokey Gray table covers dot the landscape inside the tent. Custom checkerboard drapes add a little extra spirit to the setup, drapes that match the grillmaster's checkerboard apron.
"Our tailgate is original," Turner said while flipping brats and chicken wings on the grill. "We cook every week and have a great crowd. It's great food, homemade food, it's not catered in, great furniture and a relaxed atmosphere."
The wings and brats compliment a spread that included pulled pork, ribs, sides and a wide selection of deserts.
Call manned the drink station, serving up a few signature beverages with simple, but still secret ingredients.
"Great food, great friends, great atmosphere and the biggest tent in Tailgate Tennessee," Call said before turning attention to the ceiling. "And, of course, we bring in a chandelier and our orange and white couches."
They are touches of game day elegance added to a gathering that has gone on for nearly 20 years at Tennessee games. The group started in tents in front of Fraternity Row and moved to the G10 garage before settling down with the convenience of Tailgate Tennessee when the operation began in Circle Park in 2013. The ease of their new location allows the group to focus on one thing: The menu.
"Our group of guys meets once a year before the season starts and we decide every game what we're going to do," Turner said. "We try and lay it out four games in advance. It's a lot of planning, but a lot of fun too."