Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

September 9, 2012

Goshen company goes all out for ND tailgating

NOTRE DAME — At Notre Dame Stadium, the football game is just part of the Game Day experience.

The parking lots that ring the historic stadium begin filling up early Saturday morning and by midmorning are packed with Fighting Irish fans cooking, eating, drinking — just soaking up the atmosphere that makes Irish football the tradition it is.

One Goshen-based company has turned the tailgate party into an art form over the past few years, hosting its own shindig before each home game.

Saturday was no different as Lippert Components staked out a spot in the Joyce Center lot, raised a tent, fired up the barbecues, cracked open a few adult and non-adult beverages, and invited employees, customers and friends to join in prior to the Irish’s 2012 home opener against in-state rival Purdue.

Company president Jason Lippert said the Goshen-based firm employs about 5,200 people, most of those in Elkhart County.

The pre-game tailgate party was the brainchild of employee Marty McManus, and from humble beginnings, the event now usually attracts anywhere from 200-300 people before each Irish home game –—depending on a host of factors, including the weather and how good the team is at the time.

As the clock struck noon on Saturday — with about three and a half hours to kickoff — Lippert Components plastics group sales manager Rich Clark was manning the large covered tent, talking to guests and steering them toward the free food and drink offered.

Notre Dame football has been a family experience for Clark for more than 50 years. “My dad was an usher when I was young,” Clark said.

The  logistics for putting on a tailgate party this large, as one might expect, can be tricky, Clark said.

“We have a setup group that gets here at about 5:30 a.m. to get the tent set up, as well as the tables and chairs,” Clark said. “The food and another group gets here about 9, and then a teardown group takes over at about game time.”

Lippert said the party is a mixture of giving back to employees and customers.

“They give us a budget, and we give them the  money,” Lippert said.

Andy Murray, Lippert’s vice president of sales for the RV division, said the party typically draws a mix of employees and customers.

And not only Irish fans need apply.

“We even let the Purdue fans eat and drink with us,” Murray said.

Murray, a lifetime Irish fan, was encouraged by the team’s performance in its Dublin, Ireland, opener against Navy last week: The Irish defeated the Midshipmen, 50-10.

The first game of the year always draws a bigger crowd, Murray said. And as game-time approached, the sun peeked out of the clouds and temperatures neared 70.

Perfect football weather.

Later in the season, Murray said, the crowds will depend on how good the team is and the often-fickle northern Indiana fall weather.

But no matter the weather or how good the product inside Notre Dame Stadium is, outside there will always be a party in the Lippert tent beforehand.

“It’s all about socializing, being with friends,” Murray said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • GN140722 fair food drive 03 Fair's food drive falls short of world record, but is still a success

    For a 24-hour period, the Elkhart County 4-H Fair “All IN” food drive committee attempted a “Guinness Book of World Records” for the largest single-day food drive. Their goal: 560,000 pounds of food collected from 1 p.m. Sunday to 1 p.m. Monday.

    July 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • GN140722 fair special needs awareness 02 Many enjoy Disabilities Awareness Day at the fair

    Barry Malone stepped off the Orient Express roller coaster ride, grinning. “That I was fun. I liked that,” Malone said with a laugh. “That was a good ride, too.” Malone attended the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Monday and participated in the Disabilities Awareness Day activities and events at Heritage Park, just inside the main gate.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • GN131016 county commissioners ELKHART COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: Volume cranked up on noise violators

    Elkhart County Commissioners Monday approved the adoption of an ordinance amending the current Elkhart County Noise Ordinance to include stricter penalties for repeat violators.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140721 Kosciusko Fatal Photo #2.jpg Fiery crash kills one, critically injures two in North Webster

    A fiery crash in North Webster left a Pennsylvania man dead and two others critically injured at 3:21 p.m. Sunday on Ind. 13, near Esterbrook Drive.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • GN140721 fair ride 01.jpg SLIDESHOW: Francesca Battistelli at the fair Christian artist Francesca Battistelli performed at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Sunday night.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140721 fair parade 43 THE PASSING PARADE GOSHEN — The Elkhart County 4-H Fair Parade wound its way from downtown Goshen to the fairgrounds Sunday afternoon, bringing smiles to the faces of adults and children alike with horns, sirens, candy and fun floats. Gail Janssen, of Goshen, said that

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • SLIDESHOW: Elkhart County 4-H Fair Parade

    July 20, 2014

  • 0720 fair faces Giddens Katheryn Giddens joined 4-H on a whim GOSHEN — She’d have a hard time convincing her 4-H fair family now, but when Katheryn Giddens started her first year in the program, she was shy. “I hardly ever talked. I just showed up and did my thing and didn’t talk much at all,” she said. Gidden

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 22 states have jobless rate drop

    WASHINGTON22 states have jobless rate dropUnemployment rates dropped in 22 U.S. states last month and stayed the same in 14, as the nation at large posted a fifth straight month of solid hiring.The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates

    July 20, 2014

  • GN140720 Maple scholars_VanDerZwaag EXPLORING SUMMER GOSHEN — Fourteen Goshen College students are participating in the Maple Scholars Summer Research Program.Started in 1998, Maple Scholars is an eight-week program of research, experimentation, analysis and archiving data. It provides an opportunity f

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success