Walking through the parking lots outside Valley Children’s Stadium, I had to keep my head up for flying footballs and the kids running to catch them.
Appetite for Fresno
Prepping for the sold-out game Saturday versus Oregon State, thousands of the Red Wave stood over grills or attended other tailgates.
It was an energy I haven’t seen in years. The excitement about Jake Haener and the Bulldogs had a lot to do with it. Even with the temperature in the mid-90s, a cloud cover and breeze made things comfortable.
It is also the last home game for four weeks. People were ready to party.
Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis caught my eye. She was at the Fresno Fire Chief Foundation tailgate. After all, Donis said, there are several Bulldog alumni in the department, herself included.
She’s been going to games for 30 years.
“The camaraderie makes a good tailgate. Fresno Fire is a family, and it’s just great to take a time out from fighting fire and bring our families together and enjoy some good food, drinks, and good friends,” Donis said.
Tacos and hot dogs were on the menu.
My next stop was a party with a barker offering free beer — 21 and older of course. It was sponsored by a local radio station and car dealership. Several dropped by for the subsidized suds, which included Firestone Walker’s 805 on draft.
— David Taub (@TaubGVWire) September 11, 2022
Hospital Patients Enjoy the Tailgate
Valley Children’s is now the namesake of the stadium and with it comes space for a tailgate party. Each week, the hospital invites a special unit to enjoy the game and the pre-game party. This week was the Intensive Care Unit. Sorry, no beer at this party.
But, they did have Doghouse Grill as the caterer. You can never go wrong with tri-tip, chicken, and onion rings.
Every home game, the hospital plans to honor a different unit. The guilds — the group of volunteers that serve as ambassadors and fundraisers for VCH — take their turn, a spokeswoman said. For now, kids and their families enjoyed the food, games, and arts and crafts.