The University of Northern Colorado will celebrate Homecoming Sept. 23-28 with a variety of free events open to the entire community, including the 2013 Honored Alumni Celebration on Friday night and Saturday's Community Fest, which debuted last year and will be even bigger this year.
There's also a pep rally, complete with bonfire and fireworks, Friday at 8:30 p.m. on Bishop-Lehr Field, across 10th Avenue from the University Center, where free parking is available. There is no admission charge.
Community Fest, which runs from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday on the lawn of Michener Library across 14th Avenue from Nottingham Stadium, will feature a variety of free activities for all ages. Free parking is available in stadium parking lots.
In addition to live musical, comedy and dance performances, Community Fest will include entertaining hands-on learning activities and demonstrations by UNC academic departments and students, as well as local businesses and organizations. Center stage will feature a number of acts, including a competition among marching bands from Greeley Central, Greeley West and Northridge high school.
There'll also be giveaways and children's activities, including inflatable games, face painting and balloon artists. Food will be available to purchase from UNC's award-winning Dining Services.
"Community Fest has quickly become the university's marquee community event, with something for everyone to showcase learning and connect the university with its neighbors through education," said Chuck Leonhardt, vice president of University Relations. "Last year we had 50 booths for people to enjoy; this year there'll be almost 90."
The festival will end in time for football fans to walk to nearby Nottingham Stadium for the 1:35 p.m. kick-off of the traditional Homecoming football game that this year pits the Bears against Big Sky Conference rivals Southern Utah. For ticket information, call 351-4849 or go to www.unco.edu/tickets.
2013 Honored Alumni Celebration
Highlighting other events that are open to the public is the annual Honored Alumni Celebration from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday in the ballrooms of the University Center, intersection of 10th Avenue and 20th Street. Admission to the celebration is free. Light appetizers, desserts and a cash bar will be available. Seat reservations by Sept. 25 are required and can be made by calling the UNC Alumni Association at 970-351-2551 or at www.uncalumni.org.
The 2013 Honored Alumni are:
- Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award: Richard Killmer, BA-60
- Distinguished Alumni Service Award: Steve Baker, BA-86
- Alumni Spirit Award: James Kawika Riley BA-05
- Distinguished Service Award: Ronna L. Sanchez BA-80, BS-82, MA-88, PhD-00
- Distinguished Honorary Alumni of the Year Award: Hank and Nan Brown
More information about the honorees is available at http://www.unco.edu/news/?5570.
Other Alumni Association Events
The Alumni Association's Bear Village pre-game tailgate Saturday starting at 11:30 a.m. will take on a Homecoming theme with a variety of activities, games and contests. The event is free and open to Bears fans of all ages. The village is located in the upper M parking lot, north of the Nottingham Field ticket office.
The association also will host the class of 1963's 50-year reunion Friday and Saturday, providing a variety of activities just for the returning alumni in addition to the events open to the public.
Cans to Candelaria
Activities the first four days of the week are student-oriented and center around Spirit Week competitions among residence halls, clubs, fraternities, sororities and other teams of students to see which have the most Bear Pride.
One of those competitions is the annual Cans to Candelaria campus-wide food drive to benefit the Weld Food Bank. The drive culminates Thursday when teams of students, staff and faculty converge at the parking lot west of the Candelaria Hall from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. to drop off non-perishable food items and cash collected since the start of fall semester.
The drive, coordinated by the school's Student Dietetic Association, hopes to contribute 50,000 pounds of food to the food bank, which is facing increased demand because of the recent flooding in the area that destroyed hundreds of homes. Community members are encouraged to help the drive meet its goal. More information is available at www.unco.edu/canstocandelaria.
For a complete list of Homecoming Week activities, go to www.unco.edu/homecoming.