The ongoing pandemic is messing with Missouri State University’s annual Homecoming plans.
The parade was nixed this year along with Bear Village, both popular events that drew large crowds in the past. The kid-friendly Breakfast with Boomer, an event with a faithful following, will take a one-year hiatus.
Added this year: Postponed commencement ceremonies, typically held in the spring and the summer, will be a chance for hundreds of recent graduates to walk the stage at JQH Arena.
Lori Fan, executive director of alumni relations, said current and former students got creative this year. There will be a mix of in-person and virtual events Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“As it has with everything else, of course, the pandemic has turned Homecoming 2020 on its head,” said Fan, in a news release.
“We have chosen not to offer many of the traditional Homecoming events in order to keep our Bear family safe and healthy. However, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate everything maroon and white both on and off campus.”
Fan told the News-Leader that several popular events, including the football game and the basketball scrimmage, will still happen.
- 1 p.m. Saturday — Bears and Lady Bears basketball scrimmage at Hammons Student Center. The event is free and open to the public but masking and social distancing are required.
- 7 p.m. Saturday — Football Bears vs. Central Arkansas Bears will be at Plaster Stadium. Capacity will be limited to 6,000.
“We are so excited,” Fan said. “Students have planned activities all this week so that on campus there will be activity going on.”
Fan said there are new virtual events for alumni including a trivia contest. Plus, the Bear Games, a virtual scavenger hunt, will take place all week.
The Homecoming Staycation Trivia Night will be at 7 p.m. Thursday. The theme of the event is “Through the Decades” and questions will range from pop culture and sports to MSU history.
Typically, there are a series of board meetings, reunions and alumni events during the Homecoming weekend. Most of those are going virtual this year.
The 50th reunion of the MSU Class of 1970 will have a virtual celebration Saturday. The same day, the Golden Bears club — which recognizes all alumni who graduated from or attended the university 50 or more years ago — will also be online.
Claudette Riley is the education reporter. Email news tips to email@example.com.
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