Tailgate of the Week: Elon

By Jennifer DiMeo | 2 Comment(s) | Posted

This week, we debut a new feature: the Tailgate of the Week. Our Roving Tailgater, Jenn DiMeo, is out and about before home games looking for Chapel Hill's best tailgate. This weekend, she found a longtime group of tailgaters in the Craige Deck. If your group would like to be part of our next "research," send Jenn an email.

 Group tailgate photo

About the Tailgate Party:

The core group of the families of Joe and Sharron Edwards (Greenville, NC), Mike and Susan Yelverton (Greenville, NC), Mitch and Jatana King (Elon, NC), Alan and Janice Hill (Greenville, NC), Tim and Michelle Price (Elon, NC), John Gorman and Lynn Williford (Chapel Hill, NC), and Tony and Deborah Mitchum (Durham, NC). They are estimating that there will be 80-100 tailgaters for the ECU game. It felt like a family reunion.

Setting up a Prime Location:

Craige Deck bottom level, side closest to the hospital. They have been in this spot of many years but with the construction on the Craige Deck slated to start September 4, they are trying to figure out where in the deck they will move for the ECU game.

Ten Seasons and Running:

They have been tailgating for over ten years. There are six families involved. They all attended UNC and most have children who have graduated from UNC or are current students.

Tailgate Keys to the Game: 

Everyone has something they bring to every tailgate. Sharron Edwards (Joe’s wife) always makes chili cheese dip, her kids love it. Other families always brings potato salad, another the baked beans. For each tailgate, the sides are similar but the meat changes. This week they were grilling wings. The ECU game they will be cooking a pig.

Breakfast items for the Elon game included two types of sausage balls...and I did spy a yummy dessert table filled with banana pudding, pound cake, brownies, etc.


This Tailgate’s Specialty:

That it is a family affair. There are lots of pictures taken and a scrapbook is assembled at the end of each season.

More than Just a Game:

The ECU game holds special significance for Joe, because he lives in Greenville. Since he has lived there, he has come to realize that ECU fans hate UNC.

Joe said, “I would say that the NC State game is on the one that I most want to win (especially this year due to State's 5 game winning streak), but that the ECU game is a close second since we live in Greenville and have to listen to the ECU hype 365 days a year!”

Best Tailgating Memory:

Joe’s favorite tailgating memory is the UNC vs Miami game. He had an appendectomy two days prior to the game. He decided the night before they would go to the tailgate but he would not attend the game. Joe and his family stayed over the night prior to the game since he was weary about the early morning drive. He went to the tailgate with eight staples from his surgery. At game time his family went to the game and he headed back to the hotel to watch the game. After the BIG win, while most fans were heading to celebrate Joe was driving back to the Craige Deck to celebrate with his tailgate family.

The Tailgate Marathon:

With the 12:30pm start time for Elon, Joe got up at 3 a.m. and was heading to Chapel Hill by 3:45am. They were busy setting up before 6 a.m.



  1. Jeff Foster's avatar
    Jeff Foster
    | Permalink
    While many ECU fans hate UNC, many of us love some of the UNC fans, like the Edwards', Yelvertons', and Hills'. Go Pirates! Thanks for the great Chapel Hill tailgate memories. Excellent article about excellent people.
  2. Joe Edwards's avatar
    Joe Edwards
    | Permalink
    Thanks for the kind words, Jeff! We have many great tailgate memories with our ECU friends, both in Chapel Hill and in Greenville! Go Heels!

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