The traditional ACU Homecoming Carnival will be packed with students, families, alumni, food trucks and attractions Friday.
The carnival will be from 5-8 p.m. Friday on the Northeast side of the Williams Performing Arts Center. Wristbands are $3 and food trucks will serve a variety of food.
Carnival attraction will include eight inflatables, a 32-foot rock wall, a petting zoo, face painting, laser tag, fishing for prizes, a Wildcat bean bag toss and a dunking booth.
“I am most excited for the dunking booth,” said Taylor Flowers, a member of the homecoming committee. “I got Tom Craig (director of student activities and productions) to agree to sit up there for an hour which I think will be a big hit.”
ARAMARK, Stillwater Barbecue and Fireman Jake’s will serve food at the carnival. Some of the options include cotton candy from ARAMARK, pulled pork street tacos from Stillwater Barbecue and a hot dog combo from Fireman Jake’s.
Harold’s Barbecue, a famous Abilene restaurant that is now closed, was scheduled to serve at the event but canceled last minute due to family scheduling conflicts.
Jama Cadle, assistant director of alumni relations, has been a part of planning the carnival for several years and has watched it grow.
“It’s evolved over the years,” Cadle said. “It used to be that the carnival was made up of social clubs and organizations, and they had different booths. Around 2000, we incorporated inflatables and we just kind of built on it over the years. A couple years ago we started the petting zoo and this year we’re having food trucks.”
Cadle and homecoming committee members have been meeting weekly and putting in many hours to make the carnival a success.
“A lot of time, work and follow-ups went into planning the carnival,” said Erica Greene, senior family studies major from Austin and committee member. “We met every Tuesday and worked outside of meeting days to make sure we had enough volunteers to allow the carnival to run smoothly.”
Student volunteers will help alongside the committee in working booths and setting up and taking down the carnival.
Cadle believes the carnival is a great place for people to reunite and start off the weekend of Homecoming festivities.
“My favorite part of the carnival probably has to be seeing everyone come and just put aside the stress and worries of the week and have a little fun,” said Flowers, senior kinesiology major from Spring.
Anywhere from 1,000 to 2,500 people are expected to attend the carnival.
“It depends on the year how many people attend, but it is always a fun atmosphere,” Cadle said.