The following can be attributed to Dr. Joseph Savoie, University of Louisiana at Lafayette president.
A slew of entertainment will help students, alumni and football fans tap into their Ragin’ Cajuns spirit leading up to the Homecoming 2017 clash between the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns and the New Mexico State Aggies.
The teams will square off at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18 at Cajun Field. Kickoff will cap a Homecoming Week filled with a range of events including a parade, pep rallies, talent show, tailgating and a food truck “roundup.”
This year’s theme is “Home Sweet Homecoming.”
The fun begins with a Sunday Funday Brunch at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12 at Jefferson Street Pub. No ticket is necessary for the paid brunch.
More cuisine will be served on Monday during the AllonsManger Food Truck Roundup from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Alumni Center, 600 E. St. Mary Blvd. Vendors will dish out a variety of food including barbecue, sandwiches and desserts. Seven food trucks are expected to participate.
Vendors will be Blanchard’s BBQ, The Bus Stop, Cacklin Hens, C’est Bon Manger, KOK Wings and Things, Mad LuAnn’s and Rice Kings. A mobile boutique, Shop Three Little Birds Boutique, will sell clothes and accessories. The University Program Council will hand out cupcakes while they last.
A Campus Scavenger Hunt will be held later that day at 7 p.m. Students will meet at the Bayou Bijou theater, then fan out across campus for the hunt. They will track down campus locations that will remain secret until just before the event. Participants can team up or take part alone. No registration is required. Students must show their University IDs.
On Tuesday, Nov. 14, the two-day “Paint the Town Red” contest for businesses and schools will begin. A team of local judges will visit business and schools to select winners in a range of categories, such as exterior and interior decorations and skits. Judges will visit businesses starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14, and schools starting at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15.
Also planned for Tuesday is the Cajuns Got Talent show from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Cajundome Convention Center. Student groups will sing, dance or display other talents during the contest sponsored by the UPC. Judges will select first-, second- and third-place finishers. The event is open to UL Lafayette students, who must present a University ID.
The Cajuns Can Care Food Drive and the Wear Red, Get Fed events will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15 on Boucher Street. Canned and nonperishable goods brought to the drive will be donated to help stock shelves at local food pantries. Attendees who wear Ragin’ Cajuns gear will get a free lunch while it lasts.
Later, a “Homecoming Hypnotist” will entertain students at 7 p.m. at the Bayou Bijou theater in the Student Union. Chris Jones, a Chicago-based performer who appeared on the NBC reality TV show “America’s Got Talent,” will perform. Several audience members are expected to be lulled into a trance. A University ID is required to attend.
The Yell Like Hell Pep Rally will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16 on the Student Union porch and in the courtyard. Attendees will enjoy music played by the Pride of Acadiana Marching Band, and a DJ. Members of the football team, the Homecoming Court, cheerleaders, and the Ragin’ Jazz dance team will be on hand.
The day before Homecoming begins with two events for sports enthusiasts, the annual tennis and golf tournaments. Both begin at 8 a.m. The tennis tournament will be played at Red Lerille’s Health and Racquet Club. The Bill Bass Open Golf Tournament will be held at Les Vieux Chenes Golf Course.
That night, at Downtown Alive!, a UL Lafayette pep rally will feature Ragin’ Cajuns football players, coaches and cheerleaders. It will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Fans can catch Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Band at Parc Sans Souci.
The National Panhellinic Greek Expo will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Cajundome. Fraternity and sorority members will perform during the step show.
The Young Alumni Pub Crawl will begin at 8 p.m. Alums at least 21 years old can walk from spot to spot. Pre-registration is encouraged.
Homecoming Day starts with a Ragin’ Road Race that begins at 8 a.m. at the Alumni Center. An open house from 9-11 a.m. at the center will follow.
The Homecoming Parade will begin at 10 a.m. at Blackham Coliseum. Convertibles carrying the queen and her court will stop in front of the Alumni Center for a toast by University President Dr. Joseph Savoie.
The Zydeco Brunch will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cypress Lake Dining Hall in the Student Union. Diners can purchase an all-you-can-eat buffet and listen to music played by Todd’s DJ Entertainment Services.
Fare will include scrambled eggs with cheese and chives, shrimp and tasso macaroni and cheese, creamy Creole tomato soup, chicken salad sliders, broccoli with Parmesan cream, grilled corn, crawfish pies, chocolate chip pancakes, pizza, crawfish étouffée, nachos, omelets, bread pudding and red velvet cake.
The game day Cajun Walk will begin at 1:35 p.m. on Reinhardt Drive.
The Pride of Acadiana Marching Band’s Ragin’ March along Stadium Way begins 3 p.m.; the band’s pregame performance will be at 3:45 p.m. at Cajun Field.
The Christiana Smith African American Alumni Chapter will celebrate its annual “Sweet Sounds of Sharing.” Proceeds from the reception will benefit the Christiana Smith endowed scholarship fund. The event will be held at 8 p.m. at the Alumni Center.
Homecoming 2017 is sponsored by Home Bank.