This year’s homecoming features a slew of new, old and revamped traditions, including Oktoberfest, the Tiger Bonfire and, of course, the homecoming football game.
Last night, the homecoming hoopla kicked-off with the Second City comedy tour, a comedy troupe that gave comedians like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Rachael Dratch their foot in the door of the comedy world.
The tour gained so much anticipation on campus that tickets were sold in advance, but remained free for students. Vince Bowhay, coordinator of student involvement and Greek life, said the tour was a first for the campus.
“This year was the first time we’ve ever had a comedian with homecoming, so yesterday’s event was really great,” Bowhay said.
Homecoming will get kicked into gear with tonight’s tiger bonfire and pep rally.
Beginning at 7 p.m. tonight, students will get the chance to participate in the coveted snake dance.
Starting at Stadium Place apartments, the dance will weave in and out of residence halls, picking up students along the way, and end at the bonfire next to the Robbins Center across from Gross Memorial Coliseum. The line will be led by none other than our esteemed mascot, Victor E. Tiger.
For community members and students who can’t make it to the bonfire, Eagle Communication will be broadcasting the event life on the radio.
“I’m really excited for the bonfire. I think this year we worked really hard to make it more student-friendly and make the program better than last year. It’s taken a lot of time and a lot of effort,” Bowhay said. “This year we sought out partnerships with residence life, Eagle Communication and people in the community, so I think it’s going to be better than ever.”
Friday begins the celebration of Oktoberfest at Frontier Park. Beginning at 11 a.m. with the ceremonial tapping of the keg, students and community members will get the chance to have a beer, bierock and some of the traditions of the Volga Germans, who put on the event every year. More than 70 vendors will be selling food and wares in the form of mugs, t-shirts, arts and more.
Classes are canceled starting at 12 p.m. Friday. The winners of homecoming queen and king will be announced at Saturday’s football halftime, which starts at 7 p.m. at Lewis Field Stadium against the Pittsburg State University Gorillas. Voting for the finalists will be open until 1 p.m. today.
Other homecoming treats include the Gospel Extravaganza, 4 p.m Saturday in Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center and the homecoming parade, beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday in downtown Hays.
More than 90 floats will make their way down the streets of Hays, forming the biggest parade in Fort Hays history.
There will also be a dedication ceremony for the new residence hall, Tigers Place, at 9 p.m. Saturday in front of the old Agnew Hall spot.
For more information and a calendar of events, including alumni events, visit the Fort Hays alumni page at goforthaysstate.com, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the link entitled “Tigers Are for Reel-Homecoming 2011.”