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'Tradition Doesn't Graduate'

NOTRE DAME – Kick off wasn’t until after 3 PM, but the parking lots at Notre Dame opened up at seven o’clock Saturday morning, because, you just can’t have a football game without a tailgate.
More than Eight hours away from game time, Fritz Holzgrefe Jr. was pulled into the Stadium Parking Lot.
Right next to an island of grass the massive lot right in front of the stadium, he started to set up his tailgate.
“We come to the same spot all the time, so this is where we’ll be all the time,” Holzgrefe said.
The Notre Dame alum has been tailgating for more than 50 years, Holzgrefe graduated in 1964. But he didn’t build his tailgate empire until his two children became Fighting Irish students.
“My son started in 1986 then it intensified and it hasn’t slowed down since….”Holsgrefe said of his tailgates.
Over the years others have started to notice his growing tailgates and have even decided to join in, at every game Holzegrefe has a big crowd.
“This weekend we’re going to feed probably, I’m going to figure about 100 people,” Holzgrefe said without a sweat.
Not only does he throw one of the biggest Irish tailgates, he also throws one of the best. Holzgrefe says he has he prized parking spot and his beef tenderloin to thank for that… And he’s not shy about his tailgate success.
Holzgrefe said his tailgate is pretty famous among Notre Dame fans, “I’ll brag…Yea, just ask Cliff. “
Cliff Grimm has been in charge of the Stadium Parking Lot for the last 15 years, he said there no other tailgate like Holzgrefe’s.
“He’s the number one tailgater, he’s very good… He’s famous for this,” Grimm said.
This, the tailgate has become Holzgrefe’s home. It’s where his friends, family, and fellow fans gather… And it’s a place he never wants to let go of.
“They may have my funeral here at the tailgate party,”: Holzgrefe said. “…If they don’t, I’ll come back and haunt them… and that’s a promise.”

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