Penn State Homecoming Week 2016 Starts October 2

The mission of Penn State Homecoming is to celebrate tradition and instill pride in all members of the Penn State family through active engagement of students, alumni, faculty and staff across the community. Homecoming 2016’s theme is “Old State Inspiring New Beginnings.”

Article courtesy By Jeff Cavanaugh at

In less than a month, Homecoming week begins! Billed “Old State Inspiring New Beginnings,” this year is shaping up to be the best one yet with more and more great events and celebrations popping up on the calendar each day. If you haven’t started to make plans yet to be in Happy Valley for the week of October 2, what are you waiting for!

Here is what the week looks like!


The fun begins October 2 with the always popular Homecoming Dance Competition and Concert in Alumni Hall.


Enjoy the Past to Present event at the HUB on Monday, October 3 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. which – in addition to performances, food and activities – gives students and alumni an opportunity to learn about the history of the University and its current successes.


On Tuesday, October 4, the For the Glory Talent Show will take place from on 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. in the Eisenhower Auditorium – where members of the student body get an opportunity to impress you with some of their amazing musical, dancing and other talents.


On Wednesday from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., one of the largest events of the Homecoming celebration – the Best of Penn State Carnival – will take place on the Old Main lawn and give current students a chance to interact with alums and the Happy Valley community.


Then on Friday, October 7, the Parade – with its always exciting float and banner competitions – will weave through the streets of downtown State College beginning at 6 p.m.

One of the most popular events of the weekend, hosted by the Penn State Alumni Association’s Lion Ambassadors is the “Guard the Lion Shrine” event which takes place from 9 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Friday night, October 7. Held immediately after the Homecoming parade, Guard the Lion Shrine includes music, games, activities, and food, all beside the Lion Shrine in the northeast corner of University Park. Penn State ROTC students volunteer their time to stand guard at the shrine, allowing for plenty of photo-ops for students, alumni, and sure, even visiting Terps fans if they want to get in on the Homecoming fun. 

Right after the parade, country music superstar Rascal Flatts will bring his Rhythm & Roots Tour to the Bryce Jordan Center at 8 p.m. The Friday, October 7 concert is sure to be a highlight of the weekend and tickets are on-sale now at the Bryce Jordan Center, Eisenhower Auditorium, Penn State Downtown Theatre or online. And if you really want to make Homecoming Weekend one you’ll never forget, Rascal Flatts is offering a “Summer Nights VIP Package” that comes with a pre-show acoustic concert, VIP cash bar and a whole lot more. Odds are Rascal Flatts don’t plan to pull a Springsteen and play until midnight, so there should still be time to make it for some of the Guard the Lion Shrine event!


On the day of the big game, the annual Student-Alumni Tailgate Competition will be held to award prizes to tailgaters competing in four categories: Best Food, Most Creativity, Best Overall and the Paul Frankhouser Most Penn State Spirit Tailgating award. On the day of the competition, judges help score all tailgates and reward winners with Penn State prizes. Think you have the best tailgate in Happy Valley – well this is the best way to earn your stripes! Registration for the Tailgate Competition, which is free, will take place online at and will be open until 11:59pm on Saturday, October 1st.

The Nittany Lions host the Maryland Terrapins at noon.

And lastly, following the big game against Maryland, the Penn State Alumni Association will host the Alumni Zone Tailgate at the Indoor Multi-Sport Facility between the Bryce Jordan Center and the outdoor track. The party features unlimited carnival-inspired foods and Penn State favorites like grilled stickies, Berkey Creamery ice cream, hot sausages, mac and cheese, and cotton candy. And don’t worry, there’s even a cash-only bar available! The event will include a ton of great games and activities and a chance to meet the Grand Marshal, Honorary Grand Marshal, famous alumni and Penn State coaches. The event opens immediately following the game and tickets cost $20 for Alumni Association members and $35 for non-members.

Happy Homecoming to all Penn Staters!  

Sunday, October 2, 2016 – 8:00am

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