Heather Wolf
coordinator of Student Activities, Nebraskan Student Union, 308.865.839

“Wild About UNK” is the theme for the 2011 University of Nebraska at Kearney Homecoming Week, Family Day and Band Day  set for Monday – Saturday, Sept. 19 – 24.

This is the first year that Homecoming Week, Family Day and Band Day have been combined.

“We have coordinated some events specifically for families, but there are so many fun things going on for Homecoming that we thought families should be involved in that as well,” said Heather Wolf, UNK student activities coordinator.

Homecoming activities take place throughout the week; Family Day activities, on the weekend; and Band Day, on Saturday. The Kearney Jaycees and the UNK Department of Music and Performing Arts will coordinate Band Day activities.

Homecoming Week activities open Monday, Sept. 19, with the “Battle of the Brains” competition at 4 p.m. at the Cope Memorial Fountain.

“Sweepstakes teams will face each other in a quiz bowl-like competition, answering questions from the categories of UNK trivia, history, math, general knowledge, pop culture and more,” Wolf said. “Points are earned for each correct answer, and awards will be presented for the first, second and third place teams.”

At 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20, a Spirit Competition will take place at the UNK Health and Sports Center. During the competition, student groups will perform a 90-second cheer or spirit song that they have created. The groups will be judged on originality, creativity, enthusiasm, crowd response, promotion of the theme and being within the time limit. After the competition, the UNK Volleyball team will play Hastings College beginning at 7 p.m. Winners of the Spirit Competition will be announced during the game.

On Wednesday, Sept. 21, a Canned Food Build will be held at 4 p.m., in the Nebraskan Student Union Courtyard. Teams will design and build a structure representing the Homecoming theme and Loper spirit using canned food goods. The canned goods will be donated to the local food bank after the competition.

The annual Lip Sync and Royalty Crowning will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday in the UNK Health and Sports Center. Student groups may use a maximum of eight songs to create a four-minute performance. Judging will be based on appearance, costumes, originality, creativity, choreography, lip sync talent and song choice. Homecoming royalty will be crowned immediately after the Lip Sync Contest.

On Friday, Sept 23, the UNK Women’s Soccer team will take on Colorado Christian beginning at noon on Foster Field. At 6 p.m.,
“Capture the Flag: Loper Style” will be held at the Bell Tower Plaza.

“Teams will battle in a capture the flag style tournament with a twist,” Wolf said. “Individuals will be eliminated if hit with a water balloon filled with a substance other than water. Some balloons will have shaving cream, pudding, etc.”

Homecoming Day will be Saturday, Sept. 24. The day will begin with the combined UNK Homecoming and Band Day parade at 10 a.m. on Central Avenue in downtown Kearney. The parade will begin at Railroad Street and Central Avenue and move down Central Avenue to 26th Street, where it will turn west down 26th Street to the university campus.

“This is the first year that the Homecoming and Band Day Parades have been combined, joining Kearney’s two largest parades,” Wolf said. “Community businesses, organizations and nonprofits will also be participating.” Student floats will be judged on originality, identification with the theme, quality of workmanship and overall affect.

The Homecoming football game will kick off at 1 p.m. at Foster Field with the Lopers facing Western State. The winner of the Homecoming parade student float, along with the overall Homecoming competition winners, will be announced at half-time of the football game.

According to Wolf, the top three groups in each competition receive trophies, and the overall top three groups for the entire Homecoming competition receive grand trophies and bragging rights.

Homecoming Week will conclude with Family Day Comedy Night featuring the Comedy Improv and Dessert Theatre Foolish Toms at 7 p.m. in the Nebraskan Student Union Ponderosa Room. There is no fee for Family Day, but registration is preferred. To register, visit www.unk.edu/familyday.