Friendships create success for tailgates

Story, photos and audio by Andy Vipond, NewsNetNebraska 

The past 20 years Dean Settje has come prepared to every tailgate. He goes the extra mile. The one true reason: friendship.

He doesn’t travel far to get to Lincoln for the games. Roughly 30 minutes from his hometown in Raymond, Nebraska, Settje says every minute is worth it.

“We have a lot customers that show up every weekend, about 100 to 150 customers. It’s our way of saying that they are appreciated here,” Settje said.

The customers are of his business he owns called Settje Agri-Services and Engineering in Raymond. He said without his customers the tailgate wouldn’t be as successful as he would like.

The homemade smoker

The success starts with the food he said. Not the food selection, but how it’s made.

Settje and his family built their own smoker to prepare the food. It took them a year to build it but the past five years have been more memorable because of it.

“The customers love it. Friends and families all rave to their friends and we tell our customers to come out and enjoy Husker gameday’s and some great food,” Settje said.

From pork to bacon wrapped chicken, each game has a different food selection to keep things spicy.

“Whatever you can put on a smoker, we’ll do it,” he said.

Friends and family members bring the beverages, games and music. Music from artists like Eric Church to Boston and many more keep the spirits flowing.

Bonding a tradition

Settje said at the end of the day the bonding that happens is what is most meaningful to him.

“Just the people, having fun, enjoying and seeing everybody. It’s a comradery and the friendship, that’s what we do it for.”

Settje’s tailgate is located in east parking lot of Memorial Stadium.

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