This year marks the 98th annual Penn State Homecoming, a school tradition that is full events that have been passed down since its beginning. Student volunteers have been working tirelessly to prepare for the activities that lead up to the notorious football game played against Michigan State.
In 1920, the first homecoming was played against Dartmouth on Oct. 9 — a victory nonetheless! Here at Penn State we are full of tradition. We look forward to things like the White Out game, the Mifflin Streak, State Patty’s Day and even just saying “We Are Penn State” in public! Homecoming has withstood the test of time and has become the largest student-run Homecoming parade in the nation. From the parade to the carnival to a brand new event, this year has already kicked off to an amazing start.
This week celebrates not only the students, but also the alumni that have made Penn State the amazing university that it is today. We reflect on the past to appreciate the Penn State community. Many travel back to join the festivities and attend the game that is also conveniently the Stripe Out this year.
Here were the highlights of this fun-filled week:
Allen Street Jam
Adding tradition is still possible, too! This was a brand new event that kicked off on Oct. 8 on Allen Street. It was a mini festival that started off the festivities and got people excited for this week. Food trucks lined the road and performances brought many out to celebrate. Homecoming Pride Events Captain Christina Tentilucci had the amazing opportunity to bring the new event to life. “Not only does [Allen Street Jam] celebrate the beginning of Homecoming week, but it also help create an atmosphere that exemplifies all things wonderful about Happy Valley that everyone in the Penn State community can engage in,” Tentilucci says. “I look forward to seeing it flourish it the years to come.”
Past To Present
Held in the HUB, Past to Present celebrates our history in a fun and interactive way. This gives students the chance to learn more about Penn State and its accomplishments over the years. The Penn State Homecoming reflected that idea perfectly with the theme: “Guide State Forward.” By looking in to the past, it will shape our future and the victories to come.
For The Glory Talent Show
This is an amazing event that allows the community see the overwhelming amount of talent that Penn State harbors. Acts come out to perform and compete for the top 3 spots that perform on THON weekend — an encouraging incentive.
Best of Penn State Carnival
If you walked past the HUB lawn on Oct. 10, you did not miss this event. Blowup obstacle courses, food venders, carnival games and happy patrons covered the lawn soaking up the week-long fun. This showcases the inclusivity of Homecoming by bringing people of all ages together.
Organizations partner together and decorate parade floats with little pieces of paper stuck in chicken wire, and it is the most beautiful display you will see. The parade is the largest student-run parade in the nation, and if you attended, you will understand why. This event attracts people from all over to stand on the side of the road and watch the parade drive by. You see everyone from ROTC to Greek life to the Blue Band to the Homecoming Court.
Homecoming Football Game
Speaking of Homecoming Court, it was announced in the spring that they will no longer award Homecoming King and Queen, but instead the “Guide State Forward Award.” This is too emphasize inclusivity and acceptance to everyone running as well as to choose the best candidates possible. This is a giant step for the University and something to really take pride in as a member of the Penn State community. The very first winners of the Guide State Forward Award were Noorein Ahmed and Nick Karafilis.