WCU to celebrate Homecoming 2016 with slate of activities Oct. 26-30

E.J. Whitmire Stadium is the site of WCU's Oct. 29 homecoming game against Chattanooga.

E.J. Whitmire Stadium is the site of WCU’s Oct. 29 homecoming game against Chattanooga.

The Western Carolina University community will come together under the theme “Purple Reigns” to celebrate Homecoming 2016 with major public events planned over a five-day period – Wednesday, Oct. 26, through Sunday, Oct. 30.

Activities include a comedy show, pop-rock concert, golf tournament, parade down Main Street in Sylva, performance by WCU’s Inspirational Choir and football game pitting the Catamounts against the Mocs of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

Chicago’s renowned improvisational group Second City will perform for the annual Homecoming comedy show at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. Second City’s performance is titled “Free Speech! (While Supplies Last)” and is an irreverent look at America’s electoral insanity.

WCU students with a valid university Cat Card will receive free admission for the Second City show. Advance tickets are $5 for non-WCU students; $13 for university faculty and staff; $18 for general admission; and $15 per ticket for groups of 20 or more. On the day of the event, regular ticket prices apply: $10 for non-WCU students; $18 for WCU faculty and staff; and $23 for general admission.

The action will shift to the nearby Ramsey Regional Activity Center the next day, Thursday, Oct. 27, with the annual Homecoming concert at 8 p.m. Mayday Parade, a pop-rock quintet from Florida, will perform along with The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Rescue Party. For WCU students, tickets are $8 and $12 in advance and $12 and $16 the day of the show. For all others, tickets are $14 and $18 in advance and $18 and $22 the day of the show. They can be purchased at the Ramsey Center box office or online at ramsey.wcu.edu.

Events on Friday, Oct. 28, begin with the annual Alumni Scholarship Homecoming Golf Tournament at 11 a.m. at Maggie Valley Golf Club. The cost is $100 per person. RSVPs are required by Friday, Oct. 21, to WCU’s Office of Alumni Affairs at 877-440-9990 or 828-227-7335, or by emailing bbusby@wcu.edu.

WCU international students march down Main Street in Sylva during the 2015 Homecoming parade.

WCU international students march down Main Street in Sylva during the 2015 Homecoming parade.

Also on Oct. 28, WCU’s Homecoming Parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Sylva. University alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends are invited to cheer as community and student floats, Catamount cheerleaders, the Homecoming Court and the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band march and roll down Main Street.

Activities on Saturday, Oct. 29, will begin with the Zombie 5-K Chase Race at 9 a.m., with proceeds going to support the WCU Physical Therapy Pro Bono Clinic. More information can be found at the “Zombie Run 5-K Chase Race” Facebook page and registration is available at active.com.

Also on Oct. 29, the Chancellor’s Brunch and Alumni Awards ceremony is set for 10 a.m. in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center. Honorees are Terry Welch, Distinguished Service Award; Richard Starnes, Academic Achievement Award; Alan Parham, Professional Achievement Award; and Mitchell Hutchings, Young Alumnus Award. The cost is $15 per person and business attire is requested. RSVP by Oct. 21 by calling the Office of Alumni Affairs or by emailing magill@wcu.edu.

Football tailgating will begin at noon Oct. 29, and Catamount fans will gather at E.J. Whitmire Stadium at 3:30 p.m. for the Homecoming game versus UT-Chattanooga. For the second consecutive year, country music recording artist and WCU alumnus Matt Stillwell will present a free concert as part of the Catamount Tailgate Concert Series. He will perform just north of the stadium and near the student tailgate lot just after the WCU football team visits that area as part of the traditional “Cat Walk” to the stadium. Halftime activities will include recognition of the Homecoming award winners and court, plus an announcement of this year’s Homecoming king and queen. Tickets to the game are available from the WCU athletics ticket office at 800-344-6928.

Postgame activities will include the African-American Alumni Reception from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Peele, Westmoreland Suhre, Hartshorn Hospitality Room at the Ramsey Center. RSVP by Oct. 21 by calling the Office of Alumni Affairs or emailing magill@wcu.edu.

After the football game, students and alumni are invited to the University Center Grandroom for an 8 p.m. concert featuring Mario, a rhythm-and-blues artist and Billboard Music award-winner. WCU students will be admitted free with a Cat Card. Admission for all others is $5.

Homecoming activities on Oct. 30 include a concert by WCU’s Inspirational Choir in the University Center Grandroom at 1 p.m. More information is available by calling WCU’s Department of Intercultural Affairs at 828-227-2276 or emailing ica@wcu.edu.

To see a schedule of Homecoming events with a student focus, visit homecoming.wcu.edu and click on “Event Schedule.” For a schedule with more of an alumni focus, go to alumni.wcu.edu and click on “Homecoming.”