GET READY – UNK welcomes back students with Blue Gold events

BG-Showcase-1Community showcase begins at 5 p.m. Friday

KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney’s annual Blue Gold Welcome Week features new events such as the Class of 2020 Parade and a 5K.

The two-week event is designed to help students become familiar with the UNK campus before classes begin, as well as give the public a chance to interact with students, faculty, staff and alumni through a variety of activities. This year’s theme is Grooving Through the Decades.

Blue Gold Welcome Week begins Friday, when students move into residence halls. Classes start Aug. 22.

BG-Showcase-3The Class of 2020 Parade begins at 3:45 p.m. Friday in the Campus Quad near the bell tower. Students, alumni, faculty and staff will cheer on the new class of Lopers as they head to their first official event as UNK students. Parade spectators are encouraged to wear Loper gear and hold up signs.

The Blue Gold Community Showcase, the annual welcome festival where more than 200 businesses and campus organizations set up booths, is from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. Live entertainment, food and product giveaways highlight the showcase. The showcase includes a free picnic hosted by Chancellor Doug Kristensen. The event is for students, faculty and community members from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on the Campus Greens.

At 7 p.m. Friday, the Pride of the Plains Marching Band will perform its march exhibition at Foster Field.

The UNK Athletic Department also hosts its Lopers Under The Lights event at 8 p.m. Saturday. It will be preceded by the Loper football team’s Future’s Game from 5 to 7 p.m. at Foster Field.

On Aug. 25 students and the public are invited to Destination Downtown from 7 to 10 p.m. Hosted in Downtown Kearney: The Bricks, the event includes prizes, free food, student discounts at businesses, an eating contest and other activities.

This year, Destination Downtown has partnered with 24th Street Night Market. Area businesses will participate in Destination Downtown by having tables or offering food, discounts, prizes or special events.

BG-Showcase-4Shuttles will run from the College of Education and Nebraskan Student Union to downtown and back until 11 p.m. for Destination Downtown, which is sponsored by the First Year Program.

A new event at Blue and Gold, the JJ 5K: Run for Something encourages participants to run for their favorite charity, cause or person. Race registration begins at 5 p.m., and the race begins at 6 p.m. Aug. 28 at Cope Fountain on campus. The race route ends at Cottonmill Park.

Participants are encouraged to dress up to raise awareness for their cause. The cost is $5, which will be donated to the United Way of the Kearney Area. Participants receive a Jimmy John’s sandwich after the race.

After the race, participants can also stay at Cottonmill for kayaking, paddle boarding, disc golf and swimming, sponsored by Outdoor Adventures and Intramural Sports and Campus Recreation. The race is sponsored by the UNK First Year Program and UNK Family Studies Department.

Blue Gold Welcome Week Highlights
Friday, Aug. 19
8 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Residence halls open for New Student Move In
3:45 p.m. – Class of 2020 Parade (Campus Quad near bell tower)
4 p.m. – Welcome Convocation “Groovin’ Through Your First Year” for First Year Students (Health and Sports Center)
5 to 8 p.m. – Blue Gold Community Showcase (Campus Greens/Fountain)
5:30 to 7 p.m. – Chancellor’s Picnic (Campus Greens)
7 p.m. – Marching Band Exhibition (Foster Field)
8:45 to 10:15 p.m. – Playfair (Foster Field)
10:15 p.m. – Loper Rock the Night dance (Student Union Courtyard)
Saturday, Aug. 20
8:30 a.m. – Class Picture for First Year Students (Foster Field)
5 to 6:30 p.m. – Loper Bingo (Louie’s Diner, University Residence South)
5 to 7 p.m. – Loper Football Future’s Game (Foster Field)
8 p.m. – Lopers Under The Lights with UNK Athletics (Foster Field)
Sunday, Aug. 21
1 p.m. – Women’s Soccer scrimmage vs Hastings College (Foster Field)
6 to 8 p.m. – Party in the Park: free dinner, sand volleyball, big splash contest and other games (Harmon Park)
8 p.m. – Outdoor concert, The Strive band (Campus Greens)
BG-Showcase-2Monday, Aug. 22
First Day of Classes
1 to 3 p.m. – Root beer float party with Campus Ministries (Cope Fountain)
4 to 5 p.m. – Cooking Hacks with Chef Alvin. Easy, budget friendly and fun cooking. (Student Union)
7 to 9 p.m. – Ultimate Frisbee (Foster Field)
9 p.m. – Movie Night (Hilltop 4 Theatre, 5037 2nd Ave.)
Tuesday, Aug. 23
7 p.m. – Sand volleyball (Harmon Park)
Wednesday, Aug. 24
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Student Employment Fair (Student Union)
5:30 p.m. – “Spaghetting to Know You” dinner. Share your faith and values. Sponsored by Newman Center (821 W. 27th St.)
8 to 10 p.m. – Ice Cream Sundae Social (Student Union)
8 p.m. – Welcome Wednesday and Evening Prayer (Campus Lutheran Chapel)
Thursday, Aug. 25
11:45 a.m. – Loper Luncheon with UNK Athletics (Health and Sports Center)
7 p.m. – Women’s Soccer Blue/Gold Scrimmage (Foster Field)
7 to 10 p.m. – Destination Downtown: Food trucks, prizes, music, free food, drawings, discounts, games (Downtown Kearney)
5:30 to 8 p.m. – Welcome back BBQ, yard games, soccer, volleyball with Office of Multicultural Affairs (Harmon Park)
Saturday, Aug. 27
TBD – LPAC Outdoor Movie with free popcorn (Campus Greens/Copeland)
1 to 3 p.m. – Fun at the Pool (Cushing Pool)
Sunday, Aug. 28
TBD – Women’s Soccer scrimmage (Foster Field)
5 p.m. – Worship, Word and Supper (Campus Lutheran Chapel)
6 p.m. – JJ 5k Run for Something (Campus Fountain to Cottonmill Park)
6:30 p.m. – Community Service Fair: Find an organization that fits you (Cottonmill Park)
7 to 9 p.m. – Explore Cottonmill: Kayak, paddleboard, disc golf, inner tubes, swimming pond. (Shuttle starts at College of Ed parking lot at 6:30 p.m.)
Monday, Aug. 29
7 to 9 p.m. – Mud Tug (Practice fields, 15th Avenue)
Wednesday, Aug. 31
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Student Organization Fair (Campus Greens/Fountain)
7 p.m. – Sexual Assault Awareness Edutainment (Ponderosa Room)
Thursday, Sept. 1
7 p.m. – Football at Missouri Western (St. Joe, Mo.)


Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529,
Source: Brette Ensz, 308.746.8291,