Tailgating a favorite tradition for K-State fans

K-State Alumni Communications

Eight-month-old Xander Hoffner attends his first Kansas State University tailgate and football game Sept. 5, with his parents, Jill ’99, ’05 and David Hoffner. (Photo: Kim Ralston '07)

Eight-month-old Xander Hoffner cheered on the Wildcats at his first Kansas State University tailgate and football game Sept. 5, already showing off his purple pride with a K-State T-shirt. His parents, Jill ’99, ’05 and David Hoffner, are season ticket holders and longtime Wildcat fans. They were excited to introduce their son to the K-State gameday experience. 

“We thought that this would be pretty good,” David Hoffner said as the family set up for their tailgate before the K-State vs. South Dakota game. 

Tailgating is a favorite tradition for many Wildcat fans, and the parking lot outside the Vanier Football Complex and Bill Snyder Family Stadium fills up with lines of purple and white tents on gameday. Some families serve up snacks out of the trunks of their cars, while some even bring redecorated school buses to the game. Others find food and fun in Cat Town, where vendors set up before kickoff.  

Larry Cooper ’73, Christiana Cooper Schadegg ’03 and Tom Anguiano ’04 were part of another group of tailgaters celebrating gameday with family and friends — a group that spanned three generations. Anguiano runs social media for the Kansas City Catbackers group and is a season ticket holder. For him, the best part of tailgating is reconnecting with the Wildcat community.

“Just seeing all my friends from college and my hometown and the family,” he said.


Bobbie Lonker, who attended K-State in the 1960s, enjoys tailgating with her friend Sharon Jones DeVault ’61. Lonker is a house mother for Beta Theta Pi. (Photo: Ashley Pauls)
Bobbie Lonker, who attended K-State in the 1960s, also tailgates as a chance to connect with K-Staters. She came to the game with her friend Sharon Jones DeVault ’61. Lonker has been a house mother for Beta Theta Pi since the 1980s, and she considers the young men she mentors as part of her family.

“I decided once I came, I would accept every single boy as my own son,” she said. “Just do whatever ‘Mom’ would.”

 Ultimate Football Guide

Make the most of your own K-State gameday experience through the K-State Alumni Association’s Ultimate Football Guide. Download top tailgating recipes, learn where to find K-State gameday gear, connect with other Wildcats at away games and more. Find more photos of tailgaters on the Alumni Association's Facebook page.
 

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