Annual parade, bonfire highlight Homecoming festivities this weekend
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
October is always seen as an exciting time for UNH students. Hockey season is starting, Halloween is coming up, and this year, during Fall Break, the annual Homecoming parade and bonfire are taking place.
The parade begins at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12, but the event begins a lot sooner than that. Starting at 8 a.m., CAB will be putting out five clues every half hour on its Facebook page and Twitter account until 3:30 p.m. The clues are part of a scavenger hunt in which students can search around campus for hidden raffle tickets to be used at the bonfire later in the day.
Students can also win tickets by stopping by CAB’s table in the MUB every day this week. Those tickets, along with ones given to every student attending the bonfire, can be used to win prizes. CAB will raffle off a total of 20 large-scale prizes, including an Xbox, a Kindle, a flat screen TV, a GPS and gift cards worth up to $100.
CAB Homecoming Chairman Taylor Hodgdon, who has been planning the event since June, said that 1,500 people are expected to attend.
“The whole event will be bigger and better than ever before,” he said.
Although the parade is going to be very popular, Hodgdon is expecting the bonfire, and the fireworks to follow, to have the biggest turnout.
The parade, which begins on Quad Way near C-Lot and finishes near the SERCs, has 22 student organization floats registered so far, as well as 13 other floats. The other floats are from university organizations and local companies such as SHARPP, the UNH cheerleaders, Great Bay Limousine, Sallie’s Fen Alpaca Farm (which will feature alpacas and other farm animals), and L.L. Bean, which will have a giant bootmobile. The parade will also feature Bruno Pape, the infamous juggling unicyclist often seen around campus, the goat with the visor that became popular at U-Day, and President Huddleston leading the way on his motorcycle.
During the parade, there will be much more to enjoy than just the floats and animals. SIC’em will be giving out free hot chocolate in B-Lot and CAB will be throwing blue Easter eggs from its float, which will contain either candy or money. Anyone who catches one without candy will have a slip of paper instead with instructions on where to claim your cash at the bonfire.
Also, halfway through the intersection of B-Lot and McDaniel Drive, President Huddleston will momentarily stop the parade to give a welcome speech to the freshmen. This is a new addition to the parade and was thought of by Paul Dean, the executive director of public safety.
The parade is expected to end at 5 p.m., which is when the bonfire will begin down at Boulder Field. There will be a BBQ, as well as cider doughnuts, cotton candy, and popcorn. CAB will also be giving away free T-shirts, which will feature the Homecoming theme, “Where’s Wildcat.” Students may tie-dye the shirts if they wish.
L.L. Bean will also be doing giveaways for its #wintervention tour, and it will be giving away free gear from its store. UNH is one of the first stops on its tour, which is celebrating the company’s 100-year anniversary.
CAB has also hired the band Red Sky Mary, a local group that has previously played at UNH. At 7:30 p.m., the fireworks show will begin, which will last for half an hour before the event ends at 8 p.m.
For those wishing to enjoy more of Homecoming, there is a hockey game being played that night.
“We want to encourage people to go to the hockey game after,” Hodgdon said. The Wildcats will be playing St. Cloud University in their first regulation game of the season.
CAB has been planning this event along with the Residential Hall Association (RHA). Despite it taking place during Fall Break, Hodgdon said he doesn’t believe that will have a negative effect on the turnout. “There are people that go home, but I don’t think that will affect attendance. We’ll have events going on all day,” he said.