Story and photos By Jessie Vanderson
TUCSON-The fun just gets better with age when its come to homecoming week at the University of Arizona. UA will celebrate the start of its second century this weekend as the event marks its 101st birthday at the school. Activities will be spread across the UA campus, and the city from Thursday (Oct. 22) to Saturday (Oct. 24).
The main two days of activities will occur on Friday and Saturday. The annual Bear Down Pep Rally at Main Gate Square Friday at 6 p.m. on University Boulevard, followed by the Homecoming bonfire on campus in front of Old Main, are two must attend events that day. Both events are free, and attract thousands every year. The University of Arizona’s nationally recognized “Pride Of Arizona Marching Band” will be present at both events.
Homecoming Saturday will not be a matter of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” but instead, breakfast with Wilbur and Wilma Wildcat, UA’s mascot couple. The Homecoming Parade will start at 9 a.m. on the University Mall, and last about 90 minutes. The team walk of the football team will occur on campus at the corner of University and North Cherry Street at about 11:00. The homecoming football game is a crucial PAC-12 Conference matchup between the Wildcats (5-2) and visiting Washington State University (4-2). It also has an early start this year. The Cougars and the Wildcats will boot it up at Arizona Stadium at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Despite the matinee kickoff time, the game is expected to be a sell out. Arizona defeated the University of Colorado 38-20 in last year’s homecoming game.
Be sure to stop by the UA’s Black Alumni tent, which is often located in front of Bear Down Gym on the south side of the mall. The Black Alumni have annually provided free food and refreshments on homecoming Saturday, and hosts a thrilling step show after the homecoming parade at the small plaza in front of Bear Down Gym.
Also make sure that you make a stop at the Beau Brummel Club tailgating spot (last year on the north side of the mall near the School of Dance Building about half a block past Cherry). Rubin Salter, Doris Williams-Snowden and Jerry Denson and the folks always have the barbeque smoke billowing and the catfish in the fryer. Beau Brummel is an African American social club in Tucson that existed for more than 60 years, and has counted dozens of UA Alumni among its members over the years.