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Circus comes to UT for Homecoming

“Rocky’s Big Show” is the theme of The University of Toledo’s Homecoming this year. The week of festivities kicks off today (Monday, Oct. 1) with Carnival on the Mall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Centennial Mall.

“I love the carnival/circus theme because it provides such an upbeat atmosphere. There are games, music and, of course, food,” said Lily Kilpatrick, Homecoming director and third-year student in the Judith Herb College of Education. “You can never go wrong with cotton candy and popcorn.”

Ever the showman, Rocky will share the spotlight with Rocksy and Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, who will be the grand marshal at the Edward C. and Helen G. Schmakel Homecoming Parade, which begins 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 at West Bancroft Street and Campus Road.

“I am thrilled and honored that I was selected as grand marshal,” Kapszukiewicz said. “The University and the city share the same name, we are part of the same team, and everyone in Toledo is a Rocket. UT is an amazing institution, and I can’t wait to welcome back the scores of alumni.”

“Homecoming is so special because it is a time for everyone to come back and to see how the University has changed and become better,” Kilpatrick said. “And this year is extraordinarily special since we are playing our biggest rivals for the Homecoming game.”

The showdown between the Toledo Rockets and Bowling Green Falcons will take place at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 in the Glass Bowl.

“I hope the campus, alumni and community takes Homecoming as an opportunity to come together as the Rocket family to celebrate our successes,” Kilpatrick said.

Homecoming activities include:

Monday, Oct. 1

  • Carnival on the Mall, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Centennial Mall. Stop by for games, prizes and food.
  • Ottawa and a Show, 8 to 10 p.m., the Flatlands. Kick back in the grass and watch “The Greatest Showman.” If it rains, the movie will be shown in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

Tuesday, Oct. 2

  • Eat the Street, 6 to 8 p.m., Residence Drive, which is located between Presidents Hall and Ottawa House. Toledo favorites will be featured as area food trucks pull up for this event, which is in its second year.

Wednesday, Oct. 3

  • Big Top Bonanza, 7 to 9 p.m., Thompson Student Union Ingman Room. Homecoming candidates will compete in lip-sync battles. Food and games will be provided by the Black Student Union and the Latino Student Union.

Thursday, Oct. 4

  • Ringmaster Rocky’s Pep Rally, 12:30 p.m., Centennial Mall. Psych up for the UT-BG football game.
  • Glee Club Performance, 5 p.m., Thompson Student Union Steps. UT Glee Club members will sing and dance their way across campus.
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council Talent Show, 8 p.m., Doermann Theatre.

Friday, Oct. 5

  • Bridge, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., Horton International House Dining Hall. Volunteer to make sandwiches for those in need in the community.
  • Homecoming Gala, 6 p.m., Thompson Student Union Auditorium. The Alumni Association will present this year’s Gold T, Blue T and Edward H. Schmidt Young Alum Award, and college and affiliate award winners will be honored. Tickets are $30 per person, $10 for children. For more information or to make a reservation, contact the UT Alumni Office at 419.530.ALUM (2586) or
  • Downtown Pep Rally. The Rocket Marching Band will take it to the streets and play at downtown restaurants and pubs, beginning with Pizza Papalis about 9:15 p.m., Ye Olde Durty Bird at 9:30 p.m., Cock n’ Bull about 9:45 p.m., and The Blarney around 10 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 6

  • The Edward C. and Helen G. Schmakel Homecoming Parade, 10:30 a.m. Sponsored by Blue Key National Honor Society, the parade will begin at West Bancroft Street and Campus Road and go east to Cheltenham Road to Christie Street to Middlesex Drive and back to West Bancroft Street.
  • Alumni Tailgate, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., William and Carol Koester Alumni Pavilion. Stop by for free hot dogs, chips and non-alcoholic beverages. There will be a cash bar for those 21 and older with proper ID, and Five O’Clock Rush will play live music.
  • Toledo Rockets vs. Bowling Green Falcons Homecoming Game, 3:30 p.m., Glass Bowl. Cheer on the Rockets and see the crowning of the Homecoming king and queen. Tickets range from $38 to $73; $17.50 and $21.50 for children 12 and younger; half off for UT faculty and staff; and free for UT students with IDs. For tickets, go to or call 419.530.GOLD (4653).

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