Penn State Homecoming Weekend is Here and is Rife with Activities
"The Glory Echoes On" all week, thanks to Penn State Homecoming. The theme has spread through campus this past week and culminates with a parade, festivities, a football game and the crowning of a king and queen this weekend.
Penn State takes on Northwestern at noon in Beaver Stadium and will be televised nationally. A tailgate competition among students and alumni will precede the game, according to a press release on Penn State Live.
"'For the glory' – that's how we start our alma mater, and it is a driving force in the decisions we make during our time at Penn State, " said student Lara Kaiserian, who oversees merchandising for this year's Homecoming committee.
"Penn State molds us into the people we are meant to become and teaches us how to live lives that glorify our university, even after we leave this special place.
"This is more than just a school; it is an attitude and way of life that continues long after our four years. It resonates within us and never completely fades away. It is the reason why so many of us come back year after year and why students and alumni can relate to one another, even with a generation gap," she said.
According to Penn State, the parade – which is annually the largest collegiate Homecoming parade in the nation – begins at 6 p.m. on Friday. More than 200 students, alumni and community groups will participate, with 44 floats created by student organizations to be featured, said student Gabi Donchez, parade director.
She promised balloons – "Think Macy's parade," she said, as well as appearances by Penn State alumni who participated in the 2012 Olympic Games, including bronze medalists Natalie Dell (rowing) and Dominique Blake (track and field). Olympians Felix Aronovich, Miles Chamley, Shana Cox and Kirsten Nieuwendam also will be in the parade.
"Homecoming is a time for the Penn State family to learn and grow together as a community, and to share in building on our legacy of proud tradition for decades to come," said student Stephanie Radziminski, university relations director for the Homecoming committee.
Announced earlier this year, grand marshals will be Terry and Kim Pegula will greet all parade patrons. The Pegulas' $102 million commitment to the University is funding construction of the Pegula Ice Arena and providing scholarships for student athletes.
State College businesswoman and Penn State Trustee Emerita Mimi Barash Coppersmith will be the honorary grand marshal, Penn State said.
A map of the parade route is available online and the parade will be livestreamed as well.
A pep rally will be held at 8:45 p.m. in Rec Hall on campus. The rally features the Penn State Blue Band, cheerleaders and the Nittany Lion and ends with the crowning of the Homecoming king and queen.
This year, there are courts for first year students and faculty and staff, according to Penn State.
At 10 p.m. on Friday, students, alumni and fans can join the Penn State Lion Ambassadors as they "Guard the Lion Shrine," a tradition that dates back to the 1960s.
"'The Glory Echoes On' represents what Penn State is in so many ways," said student Kate Kreisher, whose logo design was selected to represent this year's celebration.
"It shows how our memories continue to echo on. It shows how together, we have been able to overcome so much. Most importantly, it shows that we will always be Penn State proud, no matter what happens."
State College Police said traffic will be affected by the parade route on Friday night. Police said the parade will form in the parking lots on Porter Road and Curtain Road. The parade will travel the following route:
- South on Bigler Road to Pollock Road
- West on Pollock Road to Shortlidge Road
- South on Shortlidge Road to College Avenue
- West on College Avenue to Burrowes Road
- North on Burrowes Road
The parade is expected to disperse north of Pollock Road, police said.
The parade route will be closed to vehicle traffic from approximately 5:30-8:30 p.m, police said. Parking along the route will be restricted.
Motorists may experience some traffic delays during the time of the parade. A detour route will be in effect.
Westbound thru traffic on East College Avenue will be detoured onto Porter Road to Park Avenue then west on Park Avenue to Atherton Street, police said, and local traffic traveling westbound on East College Avenue will be permitted to exit onto University Drive.