Events for Homecoming have been scheduled amidst uncertainty caused by the ongoing pandemic.
The first event to kick off the Homecoming Weekend will be a praise day Chapel on Oct. 16.
“We are planning a Friday praise day for those on campus and virtually,” said April Young, officer of alumni and university relations. “We’re still working on finding a speaker but if you watched any of the prior chapels then it will be a similar experience.”
Jama Cadle, assistant director of alumni and university relations, said the Friday of Homecoming will feature a free-admission carnival people can register to attend.
“The carnival will be at the Abilene Zoo, with masks being required, and will be open to students, faculty and staff and their families,” said Cadle. We’ll have free food for the first 550 people.”
Cadle said those who attend will be able to do activities such as feeding the giraffes, riding the carousel and riding the train for free with room to social distance.
Due to COVID-19 regulations, Mandy Collum, senior officer of alumni and university relations, said that there has been numerous virtual events scheduled to allow the alumni to have a chance to connect.
Collum said that one event that will be virtual will be the annual homecoming parade.
“We will be having a ‘virtual parade.’ It won’t be any actual parade but a look back on previous ones in the past,” Collum said. “It will serve as a chance for alumni to catch themselves on video or even just a time of remembrance.”
Collum also said there will be virtual performances by musical talent from ACU.
“Along with the virtual parade, we will have a video of some of our musical talent on campus,” Collum said. “We’ll have the ACU a cappella choir perform a few songs and Nick Tatum’s groups performing a few songs.”
Other online events will include a performance by the theater department and an event hosted by the Maker Lab where students, faculty and staff and their families can create something in-person or where those off campus can order a take-home creation kit.
Many events will be in-person as well. Young and Cadle said that the tailgate is still planned.
“Things could change, but we do plan to have tailgating,” Cadle said. “Because we’re not doing in-person reunions this year we are going to celebrate the classes we would have celebrated next year along with next year’s classes.”
Cadle said food will also be catered for those at the tailgate.
“The food we would have served our alumni will be served to our students,” Cadle said. “The Shed [Market] is going to cater individually wrapped BBQ sandwiches. They will be first-come, first-served.”
Young said that on that day there will be invitation-only events for the nominees for Homecoming Queen.
“The event will be called ‘Homecoming Queens Tea,'” said Young. “It’ll be a time to celebrate our Homecoming court and will go into the football game where we’ll announce the whole court. Voting [for homecoming court] will be from Oct. 2-9.”
The Saturday events will close with the football game against West Texas A&M at 6 p.m.