Texans, fans, supporters gear up for TSU Homecoming Week

E-T staff report

STEPHENVILLE — With Homecoming Week ahead, Tarleton State University students, faculty, staff and supporters all have a lot to anticipate in the coming days.

Each day of Homecoming week, Oct. 17-23, Tarleton campuses will buzz with activities  starting with the Ignite the Night lighting of the Smokestack and announcement of the Homecoming Court at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Smokestack/P13 Parking Lot.

Each day of Homecoming week, Oct. 17-23, Tarleton campuses will buzz with activities starting with the Ignite the Night lighting of the Smokestack at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Smokestack/P13 Parking Lot.

Monday's events include the Faculty, Staff, and Alumni Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the TSC Ballrooms. The evening will feature the Silver Bugle Hunt, a homecoming scavenger hunt tradition, at 6:30 p.m. at the Trogdon House.

Tuesday's events feature the Launching of the Ducks at 5:30 p.m. at Rudder Way reflecting pools, Walk Like a Sigma at 9:14 p.m. at the dining hall patio and the Homecoming tradition Purple Pancakes from 10 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. on the dining hall patio.

Wednesday's events include the Yell Contest at 9 p.m. at Wisdom Gym with the Snake Dance following. The Snake Dance goes from Wisdom Gym to the TSC Amphitheater. Also Wednesday will begin the traditional Drum Beating at the TSC Amphitheater following the Snake Dance, through the football game kickoff on Saturday. Yell Bingo is also scheduled for 9 p.m. at the TSC Ballrooms.

According to the TSU website, the 1920s brought a favorite student tradition — the beating of the drum. At the height of the rivalry between JTAC and NTAC, attempts to burn the opponent's bonfire prior to the scheduled celebration were common. A drum was beaten 24 hours a day until the football game kickoff to discourage NTAC students from invading campus. Today, organization and residence hall students continue this around-the-clock tradition by beating the drum from Wednesday evening until Saturday kickoff.

In early years, to begin bonfire festivities, students assembled on the Trogden House lawn, locked arms and snaked their way to the bonfire site. This Snake Dance was led by cheerleaders carrying torches to light the way. Today, with the bonfire at the College Farm, students snake dance from the yell contest at Wisdom Gym in the Kinesiology Building to the start of drum beating at the Thompson Student Center.

During the 1980s, the Student Government Association added the Yell Contest to Homecoming Week, and quickly established a new tradition. Student organizations perform step and dance moves to original chants and lyrics, and a panel of judges selects the top three teams. The winning team has the honor of beating the drum immediately after the traditional leaders, the Plowboys.

Thursday's schedule includes the Purple Out Picnic/Meet the Homecoming Court at 6 p.m. at the Intramural Fields followed by the Purple Out Concert at 7:30 p.m. Wrapping up Thursday will be Midnight Madness with doors opening at 11:15 p.m. at Wisdom Gym. For more on Midnight Madness, see today's Sports section, Page B1.

Friday will start off with the J. Dixon White Homecoming Golf Tournament teeing off at 9:30 a.m. at the Canyon West Golf Course. 

The festivities continue with the Welcome Home Bash from noon to 5 p.m. at the Alumni House followed by the Alumni Homecoming Kick-Off Social from 5-7 p.m. also at the Alumni House.

The night's events wrap up with the traditional L.V. Risinger Memorial Bonfire beginning at 8 p.m. at the Tarleton Agriculture Center. Shuttles will run from the Campus Rec and City Park beginning at 6 p.m. and additional parking is available at Timber Ridge Church.

According to TSU, the L.V. Risinger Memorial Bonfire is a tradition dating to the 1920s. The Plowboys organization builds and guards the bonfire. The Homecoming Court is recognized during the festivities. The bonfire has been dedicated to L.V. Risinger, acclaimed defender of the bonfire during the North Texas Agricultural College air raid of 1939.

Saturday's schedule is filled with events starting with a Memorial Homecoming 5K is set for 8 a.m. at Rome Street and Rudder Way.

The College of Agriculture & Natural Resources is hosting a breakfast from 8-9:45 a.m. at the Tarleton Agriculture Center. There is also a Welcome Home Breakfast and Parade Watch Party scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon at the Alumni House.

No homecoming would be complete without a Homecoming Parade, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. The annual parade will encircle the campus via Washington and McIlhaney Streets.

No homecoming would be complete without a Homecoming Parade, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. The annual parade will encircle the campus via Washington and McIlhaney streets.

The Tarleton Alumni Rodeo gets started at 10 a.m. at the Tarleton Rodeo Arena, 13635 FM 3025, Stephenville.

For the youngsters, Theatre at Tarleton and the Young People Series plan to present "The Jungle Book" at the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center Auditorium on the Stephenville campus. Performances are at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The box office opens one hour before curtain time, and tickets are $3 per person. Seating is general admission.

A Student Life Reunion Hall is planned for noon to 2 p.m. at the TSC Ballrooms and the  Dr. Steve Simpson Lab Naming Ceremony is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Wisdom Gym.

Texan Alley and Tarleton Alumni Association will host a Tailgate Party from 2-6 p.m. at  Texan Alley. The Rally on Rudder and Pointe du Hoc will kick off at 2:40 p.m. starting at the dining hall and culminating at the Maj. Gen. James Earl Rudder Statue.

TSU Alumni Service Social Club Reunion is scheduled for 7-11 p.m. at the TSC Ballrooms.

Capping off the week of festivities will be the Tarleton Homecoming Football Game at 6 p.m. when the Texans host Midwestern State at Memorial Stadium.

Crowning of Homecoming King & Queen will take place at halftime of the game.

For more information visit https://www.tarleton.edu/spiritweek/events.html.