HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — For the first time since the COVID pandemic, Marshall University will host a full-scale Homecoming Week with a number of activities that kick off Monday.
Matt James, executive director of alumni relations, said they’ve been working since mid-summer to make sure not to schedule events on top of each other in order to grow attendance numbers.
“Instead of over programming on top of each other and forcing people to make choices between our entities, why not spread our schedule out and have something to do each day and each evening. Also, we’ll have something everybody can come to,” he said.
Most events returned last year, but there were still some that had to be scaled back.
“Last year we were still working through bringing things back, what made sense, what programs survived the pandemic and this year we have a way better understanding,” James told MetroNews.
Join us for #HerdHomecoming Sept. 25 – 30 🗓️
The week-long celebration includes the Unity Walk, Parade, Party on the Plaza and numerous tailgates and gatherings and concludes with the Thundering Herd taking on Old Dominion at the Joan! 🎉 🏈 📣 https://t.co/Kx2mEYXqsn pic.twitter.com/yAUP8pzTCF
— Marshall University (@marshallu) September 13, 2023
The week kicks off at 5 p.m. Monday with a Unity Walk in Huntington. Intercultural and Student Affairs will host Penny Wars from 11 am. to 2 p.m. Memorial Student Center Plaza Monday through Thursday.
On Tuesday, there will be a Chalk the Walk from 9a.m. to 3 p.m., with judging taking place at 3:30 p.m.
There will be a window display contest from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday on the second floor of the Memorial Student Center. Judging will take place at 3:30 p.m. Then at 7 p.m., the Black United Students’ will host the Miss Captivating Pageant in the Don Morris Room of the Memorial Student Center.
The Marshall University Alumni Association will host its annual Office Decorating Contest on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Winners will be announced Friday.
Other events on Thursday include an annual Car Bash, Hoops in Huntington, Herd Pop Trivia and the Wild N’ Out comedy show.
Party on the Plaza returns from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday. The event includes free food, music, a pep rally and photo booth. Parent and Family Weekend also kicks off Friday through Sunday.
At 4 p.m. Friday, the Marshall University Foundation and Alumni Association will celebrate the 25th and 50th classes on the patio of Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall.
James said there will be a change in this year’s Homecoming parade.
“The parade has moved to Friday night this year. It was on Thursday for about a decade. That’s when we tried to include a few of our high school bands into a competition, but that competition phased out, so now we’re moving back to a Friday parade,” he said.
The parade will march down the streets of Huntington, featuring former Marshall interim president Gary White and former Marshall Board of Governors Chair Jo Ann White as grand marshals. The parade will begin on Fourth Avenue at 10th Street and travel east to Hal Greer Boulevard, where it will move up to Fifth Avenue and continue east to 17th Street at Harless Dining Hall.
A number of other events are scheduled for Friday night.
Tailgating parties will take place Saturday before the Thundering Herd takes on Old Dominion University at 3:30 p.m. at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. During halftime, the Homecoming Court will be crowned on the field.
To view Marshall’s Homecoming schedule, CLICK HERE.