The University of Arizona celebrates a century of Homecoming tradition

Today

Lighting of “A” Mountain. 5 p.m. Homecoming festivities officially kickoff when the University of Arizona Bobcats Senior Honorary lights the “A” with flares at 5:50 p.m. today. But the fun starts earlier on the top floor of the Main Gate Garage, 615 E. Second St. That’s when the UA Student Alumni Ambassadors host the Lighting of “A” Mountain Celebration from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wilbur T. Wildcat, the Arizona cheerleaders and the 2014 Homecoming Court will join students and alumni to watch. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public, and includes a brief history on the tradition.

Monday through Friday

The Collegiate and Campus Showcase. Various days and times. Now in its fifth year, the showcase offers a variety of free presentations. Most, such as the “Shaping Lenses to See Beyond the Stars” tour of the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab, take place on Friday. The tour is also one of the events that require RSVPs. Find the full schedule with details at arizonaalumni.com and click on Homecoming 100.

”Wildcats for Life: 100 Years of Faces, Places, Traditions and Trends” is a multimedia exhibit presented by the UA Alumni Association and the UA Libraries as part of the showcase. Find it in the lower level of Old Main 9 a.m.-4 p.m Monday through Friday; and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

Friday

Ghosts of the UA Tour. 10 a.m. Student Alumni Ambassadors lead a walking tour into the darker side of campus —learn about the Old Main ghost, the haunting of Maricopa Hall and more. Meet on the east side of Old Main.

BBQ Bash. 11:30 a.m. A BBQ lunch open to the public on the UA Mall. Admission is $35.

Bear Down Fridays. 5 p.m. Organizers anticipate the biggest turnout since Bear Down Fridays started nine years ago in Main Gate Square, located next to campus along University Boulevard. The spirit party starts with Wilbur and Wilma, live music along with a Junior Cats Zone for kids that includes face painting, a photo booth, and a marching band instrument petting zoo. With nearly 30 restaurants and 25 retailers, Main Gate Square will also have plenty of happy hour discounts, games, food samples and giveaways — and you can get your hair tinted red and blue. Starting at 5:20 a UA pep band will go from merchant to merchant. The marching band is to arrive at 6:30 p.m., the homecoming court will be introduced and there will be a special surprise for Wilbur’s birthday.

Bonfire. 7:20 p.m. The marching band will lead the crowd to the west side of Old Main for one of UA’s oldest traditions. Football Coach Rich Rodriguez and the team are slated to give a pep talk and then sing “Bear Down Arizona.” The bonfire will be lit at 7:46 p.m. There was no bonfire last year because of Old Main renovation.

Saturday

Wildcat for Life Tailgate Party. Noon. Presented by the UA Alumni Association, this event on the UA Mall is free and open to the public. There will be food to buy from Eegee’s and El Charro, along with stations with beer, wine and soda and water.

Homecoming parade. 2 p.m. UA President Ann Weaver Hart will share Grand Marshal duties with five retired presidents — Eugene Sander, Robert Shelton, Peter Likins, Henry Koffler and John Schaefer — leading more than 50 floats, homecoming royalty and the Pride of Arizona marching band around the UA Mall and Old Main.

Wildcat Walk. 4 p.m. Cheer the football team as players get off the bus on the UA Mall and walk to Arizona Stadium.

Kickoff. 6 p.m. The UA Wildcats host the University of Colorado Buffaloes at Arizona Stadium.

Source: University of Arizona Alumni Association