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Homecoming to bring back spirit

October 12, 2006

After months of preparation, the UW-River Falls Homecoming will be a week packed with fun, entertainment and events — all with a cowboy theme.

“Showdown at the RF Corral” events begin at 9 a.m. Oct. 16 with the medallion hunt, and end after the Homecoming football game Oct. 21.

“This [Homecoming] blows everything out of the water,” Homecoming Committee Chair Marcus Bonde said.

The committee has put a lot of effort and emphasis on advertising Homecoming festivities this year.

“We have done more advertising than I know of since I have been on campus,” Bonde said.

Homecoming posters have been placed throughout campus, and flyers about the festivities are available in the Leadership Center.

UW-RF student Nikole Cisar agreed that it has been better advertised this year.

“Another problem we had before is that it has been geared specifically towards organizations,” Bonde said. “This year it is also geared towards students.”
Bonde said the goal of the Homecoming events is to strengthen campus pride.

“The spirit level is lacking on this campus and we are trying to build it up,” Bonde said.

The events will allow students to connect with one another, as well as student organizations.

The big events for students are the medallion hunt, mechanical bull, lip sync competition, Johnny Holm Band concert and parade.

“[This Homecoming] has the same things as other years — they are just bigger and better this year,” Bonde said.

The medallion hunt offers students a chance to win a $50 prize. Beginning Monday and ending Thursday, clues about where the UW-RF medallion is hidden on or in University property will be posted every day at the Information Desk before 9 a.m. The student who brings the medallion to the Information Desk will win the cash.

Lip sync, hosted by folk humorist Mary Mack, is a competition where members of organizations lip sync on stage.

“If you saw Dave Coulier, Mary Mack is even funnier,” Bonde said. “We were all in tears because she was so hilarious.”

The members will be judged on stage presence, creativity, lip syncing ability, costumes, choreography and use of the Homecoming theme.

“Lip sync is always fun to watch. It is quite comical and very, very funny,” Cisar said. “It is interesting to see what different organizations come up with.”

Out of all the events, the highlight of Homecoming is the parade, Bonde said. It is set for Saturday, Oct. 21, at 10:30 a.m. Last year, a Homecoming parade was held for the first time in 21 years. However, unlike last year when the parade went through campus, it will travel through downtown River Falls as a result of more time and better planning. 
Bonde said the significance of the parade is to get alumni back to the city.

Many alumni come back every year just for the Johnny Holm Band concert, an event that has been part of Homecoming for many years.

UW-RF alumna Deb Gunderson graduated in 1992. She attended every UW-RF Homecoming when she was a student, and has attended all but one since she graduated. Gunderson said when she went to school here, there was a parade and Johnny Holm Band concert during every Homecoming.

“It is always a nice time to get together with friends,” Gunderson said.

She encourages students to go to some of the events.

“The biggest reason to go is because it gives you a reason to get together with friends and enjoy the events,” she said. “It is a time to connect, and will provide students with memories for many years from now.”

At the end of the parade this year, the floats will line up in front of the football stadium for the game. Before the game starts, the chancellor, cheerleaders and Freddie will give the game ball to the referee to give everyone a “Super Bowl” feeling.

Another aspect of Homecoming is Homecoming royalty. Students can vote online at http://www.uwrf.edu/leadership/homecoming.html for Homecoming King and Queen beginning at 4 p.m. Oct. 16.

“I want to represent Sigma because it has been a big part of my life,” UW-RF student Anna Parsons said.

Parsons is the Sigma Sigma Sigma candidate for Homecoming royalty.
She said Homecoming is important because “it’s fun to be on campus, and that is part of college life.”

Among the other events for Homecoming are student competitions, a food drive and a BBQ.

Homecoming T-shirts are also on sale at the Leadership Center for $5.