By Molly Essell
Ohio University Homecoming is almost here and so are the alumni and sporting events that go along with this exciting, busy weekend.
According to Cristie Gryszka, director of reunions, special programs and alumni education, this is not just a normal alumni weekend, but truly a homecoming for many.
"Homecoming is an important event because it has been a tradition for so long," she said. "It's a great time every year and the campus is always so beautiful in the fall. It's a perfect time to come home to a place you can remember."
"With rival Miami as the football opponent this year, it will be an even more exciting weekend," she added.
The Homecoming festivities kick off with "Paint the Town Green" on Monday, Oct. 12, and end with the women's soccer and field hockey games on Sunday, Oct. 18.
Here is a sampling of this year's Homecoming events:
Monday, Oct. 12
Paint the Town Green
Local businesses compete with one another by decorating their windows and collecting canned goods during Homecoming week for this annual event, sponsored by the Student Alumni Board. A student judging panel determines winners in various categories, including best window display and most canned goods collected. Winners will be announced at the "Yell Like Hell" pep rally on Friday, Oct. 16.
Thursday, Oct. 15
Hayride and Historical Tour
Alumni and members of the university community can take walking or horse-drawn riding tours through The Ridges from 7 to 9 p.m. Participants will learn more about the history of the buildings and be able to enjoy hot chocolate and cider. The cost of the tour is $5 and attendees must register at least one day before the event.
Friday, Oct. 16
Alumni Awards Gala
The awards gala recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding alumni and friends of the university. This is a black-tie, invitation-only event and will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Baker University Center Ballroom.
This fun-filled event is great for the whole family. There will be games, music and food from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Konneker Alumni Center. Be sure to register online. Your ticket will include all of your food, games and activities for the evening.
Fall Jazz Concert
This free concert at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium will feature the Ohio University Jazz Ensembles I and II and Jazz Percussion Ensemble. The concert begins at 8 p.m.
OHIO vs. Toledo volleyball, 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center.
Yell Like Hell Pep Rally
At 8:30 p.m., following the women's volleyball game against Toledo, join fellow Bobcat fans at the Convocation Center for an Ohio University pep rally! The Marching 110 and members of the football team and all fall sports teams will all be there to join the celebration.
Saturday, Oct. 17
Free coffee hour
Start the morning right with a warm cup of coffee at Baker University Center's Front Room. Just bring in a business card or fill one out at the door to receive your free cup of coffee, compliments of the your Alumni Association.
Come out to see the floats -- which reflect this year's theme of "Traveling Through Time" -- the Marching 110 and more! The parade starts at 10 a.m. and will travel the usual route, starting on Morris Ave. and continuing through town until the final turn onto University Terrace.
OHIO vs. Miami football
This highly anticipated rivalry game kicks off at 2 p.m. at Peden Stadium. Prior to the game, there are multiple tailgating events planned for various organizations. Check the Alumni Association's Web site for a list of all organized tailgates.
"Once Upon a Time" Coronation
The Black Student Cultural Programming Board puts on the annual Homecoming Coronation. This event begins at 6 p.m. in the Baker University Center Ballroom with an after-party in the ballroom at 10 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 18
1st Annual Army ROTC Golf Scramble
For the first time, the Army ROTC will hold a Golf Scramble. The golf outing starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Ohio University Golf Course.
OHIO vs. Miami soccer, 1 p.m. at Chessa Field
OHIO vs. Missouri State field hockey, 1 p.m. at Pruitt Field
For a full listing of all the Homecoming events, times and registration information, go to the Alumni Association Web site.