PUNTA GORDA — What’s better after forkfuls of turkey?

Beer and football.

Punta Gorda’s Great Tailgate was this Saturday in Punta Gorda’s Laishley Park in celebration of college football’s rivalry weekend.

Everyone’s favorite rival teams were played on the two Megatron TVs: Ohio State vs. Michigan, Alabama vs. Auburn, Wisconsin vs. Minnesota and, of course, Florida vs. Florida State.

Additional games were shown on smaller screens in the event’s sports bar.

Along with football, there was a DJ, food trucks, cornhole tournaments and yard games.

A portion of the proceeds went to VITA, or the Veterans Initiatve for Therapeutic Arts. In past years, Edgewater Events has given $500 to $700 to the charity of its choice for the tailgate. Organizer Matt Nemec estimates this year will be no different.

The proceeds donated will go toward Christmas gifts for local veterans to pursue their artistic crafts, such as guitars, 3-D printing puzzles, or record players, said VITA chairman Mike Bernicchi.

“It’s a beautiful day to watch football with the community,” said Cape Coral resident Neil Hartman.

The event saw approximately 800 people Saturday, according to Nemec.

Edgewater Events’ next party will be Funk Fest. Tickets are available now at www.funkfestpuntagorda.com.

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