Homecoming events to last a fortnight
Students will get the chance to be a kid again as they spend a day with this year’s circus-themed homecoming celebrations.
This year, the Homecoming Commission has split Homecoming Week into two weeks, allowing for more activities and community involvement leading up to the parade and football game on Oct. 6 against Central Michigan.
“Homecoming this year is two weeks long since fall break lies before the typical week,” said Alex Shoup, Homecoming Commission’s community outreach director. “We thought why not make it two weeks?”
The first week of Homecoming has been deemed the “Blue and Gold” week, while the second week “ROCK-et Under the Big Top ? The Greatest School on Earth!” focuses more on Homecoming’s circus theme.
The Homecoming Commission kicked off two weeks of Homecoming fun Monday with a kickball tournament and banner decorating contest, and last night they showed the film “We Bought a Zoo” in the Ingman Room.
“I’m really excited about the parade to see the involvement with all the student organizations, especially the ones that haven’t participated before,” said Ryan Butts, homecoming parade chair for the Homecoming Commission.
“It’s exciting just to be able to see everybody out and united.”
Butts, a senior majoring in exercise science and Blue Key president, said Blue Key is the organization responsible for the parade during homecoming week.
He said this is the most participation he has ever seen in the parade.
“We have three [high school] bands that are coming to perform,” Butts said. “We have the game at 3 p.m. and parade at 11 a.m. The parade has to run pretty much flawlessly because we don’t have much time in between.”
Shoup, a sophomore majoring in athletic training, is in charge of incorporating the Toledo community with the homecoming celebration.
“Everything this year is big,” Shoup said. “We are doing so many activities that haven’t been attempted in so long or ever.
Shoup said new events include a Student Organization Carnival Day Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 11 a.m. in the grassy area west of the Student Union Building.
The carnival will include inflatables and food, and the Homecoming Court will be in attendance for meet and greet opportunities.
Also, the band Hellogoodbye will perform a free concert later that day at 7 p.m.
Homecoming week has not included a concert since the late 1990s, according to the commission.
Sarah Dickey, Carnival Day co-chair and a senior majoring in pharmacy, said planning the carnival started at the beginning of the summer, but the planning has intensified since school has begun.
“This year I wanted to be more involved with the events. Especially with being on court, I went to all the events,” Dickey, the 2011 homecoming queen, said. “[It] helped me see what works and what doesn’t… You can only improve from there.”
Dickey said most students may not know, but the money raised during Homecoming goes towards a charity of the commission’s choosing.
This year, the homecoming commission chose the Sarcoma Foundation of America as its charity.
“It’s just a nice way for us to show our spirit [and] raise money for the philanthropy,” Dickey said.
Lindsey Hahn, a junior majoring in recreational therapy and Homecoming commissioner, said she had four goals to make homecoming better than before — make it longer, make everything free, have a concert and collaborate with different organizations to make homecoming bigger.
“Homecoming means tradition,” Hahn said. “Many students do not know homecoming week events even occur and it has lost a lot of the creditability over the years.”
The commission has been hard at work since last spring planning the events happening now.
“We release the theme for Homecoming week during Songfest each year, and we have the calendar planned out before we leave school in the summer and have a retreat over the summer for planning and goal setting,” Hahn said.
In the spring, the Homecoming Commission had bi-weekly meetings. Since school started up, the meetings have been weekly lasting for at least an hour, according to Shoup.
Becca Wancata, a junior majoring in nursing and administrative director for the commission, said meetings typically involve “putting our plans out on the table.”
“We all collaborate on each other’s events and voice our opinions on what should and shouldn’t happen,” Wancata said.
In the end, Wancata said the goal of Homecoming is to foster school spirit and student involvement.
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