‘Cleveland is the spot to be today’: Browns tailgaters take over streets for season opener

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Before the Brown’s first game of the 2021 season kicked off, the first “Ultimate Tailgate Party” was already rocking in Cleveland’s Historic Warehouse District on West 6th Street.

“The energy in the city right now is at an all-time high,” said Larry Drummond.

“Cleveland is the spot to be today. There’s just so much going on,” said Nathan Dudley.

Barley House says they started planning the event back in May with the Ivy and Dive Bar. 

“Obviously with COVID last year, we missed, you know, the real true Browns party town and we’re ready to rock,” said Barley House managing partner Joe Oravec.

In the past, individual bars on West 6th have had their own tailgates, but this is the first time they’ve come together collectively and shut down part of the street to celebrate the Browns.

“We just decided to combine forces. If there was a year to do it, this was the year to do it,” said Barley House managing partner Cory May.

Browns fan Jill Ziehn is glad they did.

“I love it. I love it because it brings people to Cleveland. I love my city. I love my city,” she said.

The event is hosted by one of the most iconic browns superfans, Gus Angelone, or better known as ‘Pumpkinhead.’ 

“Last year there was no fans, so we weren’t allowed to tailgate, nobody tailgated. We wanted to do something special,” he said.

“Everybody seems to be open to the idea of getting together and celebrating,” said Drummond, whose company, the AD6 Brand, designs apparel, including some Cleveland-centric pieces.

Giveaways were shot into the crowd, games like cornhole gave people the chance to compete themselves and there was plenty of food and drinks. 

“Huge screen TV right where everybody can watch the game,” added Oravec.

In the past, the tailgates were reserved for home games, but with the first away game against Kansas City and the optimism for the season, the party is planned for all of the games.

“Rain, shine, snow, doesn’t matter. We’ll have this party because that’s the best part about Cleveland fans, they come no matter what,” said May.

Fans in attendance said they planned to be loud, hoping their cheers reach the team no matter where they are.

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