Gopherfest kicks off homecoming

A “flash band,” cheer competition and free food highlighted the start of the week’s festivities.

Andrew Krammer

A âÄúflash bandâÄù performance by the University of MinnesotaâÄôs marching band at Northrop Mall kicked off the homecoming festivities with Gopherfest âÄî an event featuring live music, free food and games.

âÄúWe really wanted to amp up the kickoff for homecoming,âÄù said Abby Tschanz, one of the students helping to organize the weekâÄôs events. âÄúHaving live music and the bandâÄôs flash performance is really something new weâÄôre trying out and it has turned out well.âÄù

Starting at Northrop Mall, the marching band headed along the ScholarâÄôs Walk and stopped behind the McNamara Alumni Center, where it performed a short set in between live acts.

âÄúWe wanted to make our presence known to the student body,âÄù band member Karin Hamnes said. âÄúWeâÄôre more than just halftime shows for the football team.âÄù

Gopherfest lasted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Oct 17, and is one of many events the University has planned for homecoming week.

âÄúI really like that they had this during the school day,âÄù Hamnes said. âÄúMost students are busy after classes, but this gives them a chance to stumble upon it as they go about their day.âÄù

A cheer competition was also held at the same location Monday evening behind McNamara to take advantage of the stageâÄôs presence.

A flag football tournament will start at Bierman Field today with the finals on Thursday at TCF Bank Stadium.

Tomorrow, a blood drive will take place all day in the St. Paul Student Center. There will also be a lip sync competition inside the Ted Mann Concert Hall the same night.

The homecoming parade will march down University Avenue on Friday night leading to the pep fest at TCF Bank Stadium, with a performance by Atmosphere âÄî a local hip hop group.

The Gophers will take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers at 2:30 p.m. Saturday for their annual homecoming game.