The Clintonville Woman's Club will carry on a longstanding tradition Nov. 18 -- with some modern culinary additions.

After that, it will be up to the Ohio State Buckeyes to continue a more recent tradition: coming out on top in the annual football game against That Team Up North.

The 50th edition of the Beat Michigan Tailgate will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at the club, 3951 N. High St.

The game will be played Nov. 24 in Ohio Stadium.

This year, said Shirley Palumbo, co-chairwoman along with Avis Gloeckner of the event, the club will partner with local restaurants and food trucks for what she called a miniature version of the annual Taste of Clintonville.

Participants will include Ritzy's, Tupelo Doughnuts, Crest Gastropub, Blunch and Pat and Gracie's.

Northwest Columbus resident Shelley Graf, who in 1981 became the first woman to win the coveted title of drum major for the Ohio State University marching band, will take part in her 37th consecutive Beat Michigan Tailgate at the club.

"I have not missed a year, believe it or not," Graf said. "Every year they've asked me to come."

For the first 10 or so years, Graf would attend on her own, accompanied by a CD player as she demonstrated her still-crisp skills twirling the baton. But one year, when she arrived, several members of the OSU Alumni Band were waiting to provide live music for her.

"They made my day," Graf said.

She and members of what is called the Hyperactive Band have been participating ever since.

Paul Droste of Clintonville, who was director of the band when Graf made her mark in history, also will be on hand for his first Beat Michigan Tailgate.

"I guess my part (is), I might direct a number or two," Droste said. "They really don't need it. I'll stand in front of them and wave my arms."

The addition of the restaurants to the annual event is intended not only to broaden the appeal of the tailgate but to increase awareness of the club, Palumbo said.

"We kept cooking the same thing year after year, and it was OK: scrambled eggs and cheese potatoes," she said. "We've been trying to brand ourselves as a community center with a lot of events open to the public.

"It was very much a catalyst for our thinking. It was kind of a bunch of people coming up with ideas, and we came up with the notion of approaching a bunch of different restaurants."

In addition to Graf's baton-twirling, Alumni Band performers, Droste's direction and stories about Michigan games of the past, the event also will feature the recognition of seven former TBDBITL members who have attended all 50 annual reunions.

That group includes Tom Trinter of Clintonville.

"That should be fun," he said.

Cornhole matches will round out the entertainment, Palumbo said -- "because, of course, how can you have a tailgate without cornhole?"

Graf recalled her first appearance at the Beat Michigan Tailgate came about because the wife of Jim Pantalos -- her sociology professor at Ohio State, where she majored in physical therapy -- was president of the Woman's Club, and through him invited her to perform.

"To say I was the first female drum major, I didn't do it for that reason," Graf said. "I missed twirling and performing."

"Shelley won the band over," Droste recalled. "She was the best one on the field, marching and twirling.

"We just hit a gold mine with Shelley -- her personality, the drive. She came to rehearsal every day with a smile on her face."

The cost to attend is $20 for adults, $10 for children under 10, Palumbo said.

Reservations are required. Those who would like tickets must mail a check made out to the woman's club along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Diane Osterwise, 442 E. Weisheimer Road, Columbus 43214.

kparks@thisweeknews.com

@KevinParksTW1