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Fans bid farewell to Carolina Panthers and to tailgating for this season

Game Day Tailgaters
Game Day TailgatersCharlotte Johnson/Charlotte Restaurant Examiner

On Monday as the players of the Carolina Panthers NFL team cleaned out their lockers at Bank of America Stadium and gave their closing remarks to the end of a determined 12-win season, another notable part of the season also comes to a regrettable close.

A little over 36 hours ago, thousands of NFL fans flooded the downtown area in Charlotte, NC as early as 7 am to prep food and heat up their grills. Sure, all of the Center City food establishments were welcoming hungry viewers. But the long wait times and often loudly arguing close neighbors cannot compare to the bar-like-crawl atmosphere offered in parking lots and alley ways known as the Tailgaters.

These backyard chefs proudly dress for the occasion in monogrammed aprons as they show off their masterpieces. The set ups are as simple as pooping the hood of trunks and doors, to colorful tents covering flat screens and buffet style serving tables.

Under sunny Carolina blue skies, this year's divisional NFC playoff celebrations also brought out a few bikers. Families were also all in account from the youngest to the eldest.

Moreover, these cook out style restaurants have the advantages of:

· no required menus with calorie calculators

· meat seasoned and cooked to any style

· no age limits

· no smoking restrictions

· no cover charges

No other sporting event fills the entire downtown and surrounding air with hometown aroma, a vast variety of music genres, unlimited alcohol consumption, and of course, a fun loving community.

See ya'll next season!