Thousands expected for this week's festivities
By Heather Maddocks
The Homecoming year of the three and the eight officially began yesterday in the University Community Centre's atrium.
All alumni who graduated in years ending in a three or an eight are invited this year to Homecoming at Western for traditional and updated events, such as the King and Queen contest tonight at The Spoke, the Homecoming parade and football game on Saturday, said Tom Mathies, University Students' Council Homecoming commissioner.
"The United Way and Homecoming kick-offs were held at the same time to help promote the United Way campaign," said Meeta Shah, United Way commissioner. The Homecoming committee has planned a United Way Carnival for tomorrow in the UCC. Stickers are being sold this year for 50 cents with all proceeds going to the United Way and Homecoming.
"The United Way raised $240,000 last year and wants to raise $250,000 this year. They distribute the funds to needy organizations, local organizations and around the world," Shah said.
Other events include Saturday night's victory party held at the Wave, which has changed from selling tickets to charging cover. "There is lots of competition this year, we needed a venue competitive with the keg parties, King's events and the local bars," Mathies said. Also of note this year will be the appearance of Steve Smith from the Red Green Show, with his comedy act in Alumni Hall.
Mathies expects a turnout totalling 100,000 people attending the events throughout the week and said the main gates on Richmond Street will be the best place to catch a glimpse of the Homecoming parade on Saturday. "More of the alumni are expected to show up towards the end of the week, depending on their schedules," Mathies said.
Homecoming is relatively early this year, but this date wasn't set by the Homecoming committee. "Intercollegiate Athletics set the football schedule. We go by their schedule when Homecoming will occur. The football game is whatever game happens to fall during Homecoming," explained Melissa Cousineau, USC VP-student affairs.