Game On: UNK announces theme for 2023 homecoming festivities

KEARNEY – Grab your controller, select your favorite character, and get ready to start an epic adventure.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney is leveling up the excitement for this year’s homecoming celebration by creating a world where pixels and people collide.

Video game lovers from every generation – Pac-Man to Pokémon, Mario Bros. to Minecraft, Donkey Kong to Call of Duty – are invited to take part in the festivities Sept. 25-30 on campus and across the Kearney community. Fun times are sure to follow when you “Press Play at UNK.”

“Homecoming is a weeklong celebration of school spirit and pride that brings alumni, campus and the entire Kearney community together,” said Renae Zimmer, director of student engagement. “From athletic competitions to UNK traditions such as the lip-sync contest and downtown parade, this year’s events will have everyone saying, ‘Game on!’”

UNK is currently accepting entries for the 2023 homecoming parade, scheduled for 10 a.m. Sept. 30 in downtown Kearney. Area businesses, nonprofits and schools join UNK student organizations for the annual event, with awards presented to the best marching bands and most creative floats.

To reserve a spot in the parade lineup, visit and complete the online form by Sept. 22. There is no cost to participate.

The parade route starts at the intersection of 24th Street and Central Avenue and progresses south on Central Avenue, west on Railroad Street, north on Third Avenue, west on 21st Street, south on Eighth Avenue and west on 20th Street before ending at Ninth Avenue near Pioneer Park. A livestream will be available on the UNK website for those who are unable to attend in person.

For more information, contact the Office of Student Engagement at 308-865-8523 or

Other UNK Homecoming Week events include:

Monday, Sept. 25
5:15 p.m. – Pep rally and royalty reveal (Bell Tower) and window decorating (Downtown Kearney)

Tuesday, Sept. 26
5 p.m. – Adventure Race (Bell Tower/Campus Greens)
6 p.m. – Loper volleyball vs. Fort Hays State (Health and Sports Center)

Wednesday, Sept. 27
5 p.m. – Loper Feud (Student Union, Ponderosa Room)

Thursday, Sept. 28
7 p.m. – Lip-sync competition and royalty crowning (Health and Sports Center)

Friday, Sept. 29
11:30 a.m. – Distinguished Alumni Awards Luncheon (Student Union, Ponderosa Room)
2:30 p.m. – Chemistry Department Don Fox Lecture (Copeland Hall 131)
3:30 p.m. – One Room, One Teacher Ceremony (College of Education Atrium)
5 p.m. – Smoothie Competition (South of Student Union)
5:30 p.m. – Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet (Student Union)
7 p.m. – Loper soccer vs. Missouri Western (Cope Stadium)

Saturday, Sept. 30
10 a.m. – Homecoming Parade (Downtown Kearney)
Noon – Brews and Brats Tailgate (Loperville, Cope Stadium)
2 p.m. – Loper football vs. Washburn (Cope Stadium)