The official launching of the 103rd annual University of Arizona homecoming festivities was Oct. 22 with the lighting of A Mountain, but all the real action happens Oct. 27-28.

  • The homecoming king and queen will be crowned, the Pride of Arizona marching band will play, cheerleaders will cheer and a bonfire will light up at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27, at the west side of Old Main.
  • Greek organizations, colleges and clubs will set up tents along the mall to greet the more than 50,000 alumni and students expected to come to campus for homecoming. The mingling begins at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 28.
  • At 2 p.m. that same day, the homecoming parade will march down the mall. Wear red and bring the whole family.
  • Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at Arizona Stadium. The Wildcats face Washington State. The Cougars are 4-1 in conference play thus far, but the UA isn’t far behind at 3-1. Expect a battle.

UA homecoming is a tradition that goes back more than 100 years. The first one had the UA defeating Pomona College 7-6 on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, 1914, according the the Arizona Alumni Association.

Other homecoming firsts:

  • The initial homecoming parade was Oct. 12, 1929 — students created floats that took a turn around the new stadium track.
  • The first homecoming night game was in 1931. The UA played Rice and took a beating: The score was 32-0.
  • The first homecoming queen was crowned in 1947.
  • Wilbur Wildcat made his debut in 1959.

Contact reporter Kathleen Allen at kallen@tucson.com or 573-4128. On Twitter: @kallenStar