With a Top 20 pre-season ranking, excitement is building for the start of Penn State’s football season on Sept. 4. Five short weeks later, it’s Homecoming! The 2010 Homecoming Committee and Penn State Alumni Association have planned a jam-packed weekend for returning alumni around the theme Bonded by Blue and White.
Penn Staters’ favorite colors—blue and white—are sure to figure prominently in the Homecoming floats gliding through campus and downtown State College during the Friday evening parade, billed as one of the largest in the country. In addition to colorful floats, the parade features marching bands, student groups, the Homecoming Court, members of Alumni Association chapters from across the country and more!
Parade Grand Marshal: Olympic Medalist Allison Baver
This year’s Homecoming committee selected Allison Baver ’03 as grand marshal and Jeff Fisher as honorary grand marshal.
Baver, a 2003 graduate of Penn State Berks, won a bronze medal as part of the speed skating short track 3,000–meter relay team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. She also skated in the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics and in the Short Track World Cup competition.
Honorary grand marshal and avid Penn State fan Jeff Fisher has been watching Penn State Homecoming parades since 1970. He has watched them from the Natatorium, the Corner Room, in a bucket truck, and in numerous spots along College Avenue. As a marketing and promotions manager with Penn State Athletics (and the son of the famous voice of Penn State Fran Fisher), Fisher works with all sports teams and coaches and can be seen patrolling the sidelines at home football games as one of the “Get back!” guys—urging the press and onlookers to stay behind the designated line.
Be sure not to miss these Homecoming events:
Friday, Oct. 8
Student-Alumni Ice Cream Social, 1:30–4:30 p.m.
Stop by the Hintz Family Alumni Center to enjoy the company of fellow Penn Staters, music by the Alumni Blue Band, and appearances by the Penn State cheerleaders, the Nittany Lion, and Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal Baver—all while savoring Berkey Creamery ice cream.
Homecoming Parade, 6:00 p.m. step-off
Pomped-out floats. Elvis-clad alumni. Majorettes of yesteryear still strutting and twirling to Penn State classics. The grand finale Blue Band. The family-friendly Penn State Homecoming Parade offers something for alumni and fans of all ages.
Pep Rally, after the parade
As soon as the Blue Bands passes by, head to Old Main for a rousing pep rally under the stars. The Homecoming king and queen will be crowned and the winner of the student dance competition will perform.
Saturday, Oct. 9
Huddle with the Faculty, 8:30 a.m.
Will the Marcellus Shale underneath Pennsylvania (and several other states) help satisfy the United States’ energy needs just as the state’s coal and oil reserves have in the past? Find out from Rudy Slingerland ’77g, Penn State professor of geosciences, when he presents “Black Diamond, Black Gold, and Black Shale: Pennsylvania’s Energy Landscape” at The Nittany Lion Inn. All Huddle with the Faculty lectures are at The Nittany Lion Inn on home football game Saturdays and include a free continental breakfast before the program.
Photo by Annmarie Mountz
Alumni Tailgate Competition
From elegant spreads featuring silver and linen napkins to replicas of Margaritaville, nobody does tailgates better than Penn State fans. Game day morning student judges will roam the parking areas starting at 9:30 a.m. and prizes will be awarded before the noon kickoff for Best Food, Penn State Spirit, Best Decorations, and Best Overall Tailgate. Prizes include an official Homecoming banner to be displayed at the winning tailgates. But you must register your tailgate for the competition. Visit the Homecoming website to register by Sept. 20. Questions? E-mail email@example.com for answers.
Homecoming Spirit Tent, 9:00 a.m.
Stop by the Penn State Alumni Association’s spirit tent on Curtin Road near the Bryce Jordan Center to pick up a class year button and shaker before the game.
Penn State vs. Illinois, noon
The Nittany Lions take on the Fighting Illini at noon in this nationally televised contest. The Penn State football faithful will be loud and proud as the “twelfth man” to ensure the Illini’s trip to the valley is anything but happy.
Photo by Annmarie Mountz
Alumni Zone Homecoming Tailgate, 3:30–6:30 p.m.
An early kick off time calls for a post–game tailgate. Check out the unlimited buffet—featuring a full spread of tailgating foods including favorites like grilled stickies, pretzels with Herlocher’s Dipping Mustard, Berkey Creamery ice cream, and more—at the Alumni Zone tailgate, next to the Bryce Jordan Center in the Ashenfelter Multi–Sports Facility. The A–Zone will also include live music by local cover band Velveeta. But you must register. Get more details or register for the Alumni Zone now.
For more information on Homecoming Weekend 2010, check out the Homecoming Committee’s website at http://homecoming.psu.edu.