KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney is celebrating the start of a new school year with its annual Blue and Gold Welcome Week events.
A longstanding UNK tradition, the week features a variety of activities that connect new and returning students with campus and the Kearney community. This year’s festivities begin Friday and continue through the following week.
The biggest event, Blue and Gold Showcase, is scheduled for 5-8 p.m. Friday near the Bell Tower and Cope Fountain on campus. About 2,000 to 3,000 students, staff, faculty and community members typically attend the back-to-school bash, which includes family-friendly games, prizes, product giveaways and other entertainment.
Approximately 175 businesses, campus organizations and other exhibitors are expected to participate in the showcase, and Chancellor Doug Kristensen is hosting a picnic from 5:30-7 p.m. south of the Nebraskan Student Union.
Blue and Gold Showcase is free and open to the public.
UNK is accepting registrations from businesses and organizations looking to participate in the event until noon Thursday. Registration forms are available online at unk.edu/showcase. There is no cost to reserve a space.
For more information, contact Tim Danube at 308-865-8523 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pride of the Plains Marching Band will perform a public exhibition 7:30-8 p.m. Friday at Foster Field, and Loper students can listen to a DJ playing hit music from 9:30-11:15 p.m. that evening at Cope Fountain.
Campus Recreation is hosting its annual “Party in the Park” 5:30-8 p.m. Sunday at Harmon Park. UNK students can stop by for a free meal, yard games, sand volleyball and other outdoor activities.
After a year off, another popular Blue and Gold Welcome Week event is returning in 2021. Destination Downtown is scheduled for 5-11 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26.
This event gives UNK students and community members an opportunity to explore downtown Kearney and check out local businesses. The fun-filled evening features food, games, prizes and an outdoor concert from Lemon Fresh Day, which takes the stage at 7 p.m. There is no cost for most activities.
UNK students can take a free shuttle to and from the event. The first shuttle leaves the parking lot north of the Nebraskan Student Union at 5 p.m. and the final shuttle back to campus departs from the Museum of Nebraska Art parking lot at 11 p.m.
Other Blue and Gold Welcome Week events include:
- Parade of Lopers – 3:30-4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20 – Cheer on the Class of 2025 by lining the sidewalk between the Fine Arts Building and Lot 10 as they head to convocation.
- Playfair Activities – 8:30-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21 – Foster Field
- Loper Grocery Bingo – 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24 – Nebraskan Student Union Antelope Room
- Intramural Kickoff – 7:30-10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25 – Bubble soccer, Spikeball, cornhole and other games at Foster Field
- Drive-In Movie – 9-11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27 – Bring your blankets, pillows and vehicles to watch “Cruella” in Lot 14 north of the College of Education building. LPAC is providing free popcorn and soda.