Homecoming traditions are the stuff of legends – or at least fairy tales

Chelsie Hanstad

Homecoming week begins Monday, and organizers hope

several changes will boost event participation.

Twin Cities Student Unions Homecoming week coordinator Jay Arcuri said increased campus and community involvement is one of their main goals this year.

The chili feed, traditionally held after the Saturday game, will now be part of Monday’s kickoff party, which also includes live music and a hot dog-eating contest.

Tonight’s lip sync also has a new twist, with La Femme showgirls from the Gay 90s hosting the competition.

This year’s homecoming has a fairy tale theme – “Once Upon a Homecoming” – and a multitude of traditional events for students and alumni.

Monday

The kickoff party is on Northrop Plaza from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature live music from the band Possibly Bailey, a hot dog-eating contest and a chili feed with cocoa, hot cider and other beverages.

The lip sync competition begins at 7 p.m. in Northrop Auditorium. The competition will be hosted by the La Femme performers from the Gay 90s.

Tuesday

Student cheer preliminaries are from 2 to 6 p.m. on the St. Paul mall. Teams from fraternities, sororities, student organizations and residence halls are involved.

“It’s a spirit contest where students make up some kind of cheer, cheer stunts, cheer movements,” coordinator Nathan Herrington said.

Toilet races, tug of war and other activities will immediately follow the preliminaries.

Wednesday

The Noodle Regatta will take place at the University Aquatic Center at 9:30 a.m. Residence halls built floats or rafts out of swimming noodles, and participants will float their noodle regattas across the aquatic center.

The Trivia Contest will begin at 7 p.m. at Territorial Hall in the Community Room. Questions usually focus on the Homecoming theme.

The St. Paul Gym Pool will host the Surprise Dive-In Movie – “Finding Nemo” – at 9 p.m.

Thursday

The capture the flag event will be held at the St. Paul Soccer Fields. The game is open to everyone.

“This is going to be huge – a couple hundred people at least to come play a huge game of capture the flag,” Herrington said.

Friday

The cheer finals will take place at the St. Paul Gym Field from 4 to 6 p.m.

The Homecoming Coronation will take place right after cheer finals. The king and queen will enter the field on a horse-drawn carriage.

It will be followed by the pep fest and bonfire.

“We’re inviting the community for the Halloween and homecoming celebration,” Herrington said.

There will be prizes from local businesses and the opportunity to take pictures with Goldy Gopher.

Football coach Glen Mason, with football players and the men’s and women’s basketball coaches, will speak to the crowd.

The bonfire is an activity that traditionally has the most alumni participation, Arcuri said.

“Most alumni participate mostly in the bonfire and the pep fest,” Arcuri said. “The Alumni Band participates with the band in the parade.”

Saturday

The Homecoming parade will begin at 10 a.m. on University Avenue Southeast. There will be floats from student organizations, greek houses, residence halls and many local businesses and sponsors. This year’s grand marshall is Patty Brooks, wife of the late Herb Brooks.

During the parade, the College of Education and Human Development Service Fellowship for Community Service will collect donations to buy underwear and socks for poor people.

The College Ambassadors Service Fellows will have tables along University Avenue Southeast to collect the money.

The Homecoming game against Indiana will kick off at 1:05 p.m.

Nov. 3

The awards ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. in Northrop Auditorium, hosted by comedian Michael Dean Ester.