Special to the Empire-Tribune Tarleton State University students and alumni are gearing up for another exciting year of homecoming activities, meshing new events and old traditions with activities across campus.

“The Power of the T” was chosen as this year's theme for the festivities, which begin today.

Various Tarleton groups have scheduled the week's activities for current and former students, as well as faculty and staff. The Student Government Association (SGA), Student Programming Association and Tarleton Alumni Association will host a number of events that recognize outstanding current and former students and celebrate the spirit of Tarleton.

A new Tarleton tradition will begin Tuesday, with the revealing of the Purple Pedal Push. The Purple Pedal Push is an SGA project where 10 purple bicycles will be left around campus. The idea is that any student can pick up a bike from where it is left, ride it to his or her destination then leave it for the next person's use.

Other highlights of the weeklong celebration include the popular Yell Contest and Drum Beating, dating back to as early as the 1930s. The Drum Beating will begin the night of Oct. 24 and will continue throughout the week at the Tarleton Trogdon House until the homecoming game kick-off.

An old Tarleton tradition, the Snake Dance, will resurface in a new way. After the Yell Contest, students will lock arms and “snake” their way to the Trogdon House to watch and cheer for those beating the drum.

Friday will also be packed with alumni events that beginning at 11 a.m. with the J. Dixon White Alumni Golf Classic at the Canyon West Golf Club in Weatherford, Texas.

That evening, the Golden Reunion Reception gets underway at 6:30 p.m. The event will reunite classes of the 1930s through the 1960s and is held in the north room of the Tarleton Dining Hall. Admission is $15. Later that night, events will conclude at the Tarleton College Farm with the L.V. Risinger Bonfire at 9 p.m.

Events for Saturday include the Tarleton 2007 Homecoming Parade at 10 a.m., which will begin from Memorial Stadium parking lot. Kick-off for the game against Abilene Christian University is at 2 p.m., also at Memorial Stadium.

Tarleton's annual President's Reception and Distinguished Alumni Dinner is also scheduled for Saturday beginning with the President's Reception at 5:30 and the dinner at 6:15 p.m. This year, five individuals have been selected as honorees including: the late Dr. C. Richard King, Distinguished Friend; Dr. John P. McAlister, Distinguished Alumnus; the late Mary Anne Foreman, Distinguished Staff; the late Dr. Richard Shigley, Distinguished Faculty; and, July Danley, Outstanding Young Alumnae. Tickets to the dinner are $30 per person and reservations are required. For more information, contact 254-968-9074.