Niner Nation spirit is alive and kicking during this year’s Homecoming Week, a week of activities and events planned for Monday, Jan. 31 through Saturday, Feb. 5. Festivities culminate Feb. 5 with a parade and tailgate prior to the men’s basketball game – Charlotte 49ers vs. George Washington Colonials – at 2:00 PM in Halton Arena.
“We’ve made many improvements this year – including location changes to the parade route and tailgate site – that will enhance the Homecoming experience,” said Gus Burkett, Associate Director of Student Activities for Programming and Homecoming Committee Chair. “This is a growing University tradition not only for our current students and campus population, but for the entire Niner Nation community of parents, family, alumni, and guests.”
This year’s parade will follow a new route that ends in Lot 19, just past the Student Union. The Homecoming Tailgate also has a new home in Lot 19, bringing guests closer to the parade viewing area and reducing walking distance to the arena.
According to Burkett, “The best place to watch the parade will be outside the Student Union. Judging tables will be set up to review brief spirit performances from parade participants and Radio Free Charlotte will broadcast the parade. We want to create a fun and memorable atmosphere for students and families to remember.”
– Gus Burkett, Associate Director of Student Activities for Programming
Additional highlights on Feb. 5 will include Family Day and the 5K race.
Throughout the week, many student organizations will host events, such as a Date Auction to benefit Relay For Life, and the REAL MEN 3rd Annual 49er B-Ball Challenge, with students facing off against faculty and staff, t-shirt decorating, and water gun contests. The Campus Activities Board will host the “Green & Gold Affair” casino-style formal, and members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council will present “My Hop, My Swag,” a strolling showcase.
Faculty and staff are invited to taste and judge their colleagues’ cooking skills in the annual Staff Council Chili Cook-Off on Feb. 2. Other activities throughout the week include the Homecoming Day of Service (Feb. 4, James Martin Middle School), a special lecture by Tavis Smiley (Feb. 4, McKnight Hall, Cone University Center), spirit competitions, a comedy show, blood drive, outdoor challenges, and service projects. For students, online voting opens Jan. 31 for Royal Court to determine the 2011 Homecoming King and Queen and other class court honors.
Photo by Wade Bruton.