Homecoming traditions, events celebrate Blue Jay spirit

The Etownian October 14, 2011 0

There is something more reliable than the mercurial weather to predict the months of September and October. An annual tradition celebrated in high schools and colleges throughout the country, homecoming is a welcoming back of alumni, which at Elizabethtown College is held on the same weekend as family weekend, Oct. 14 through Oct. 16.

Robert Frost referred to home as “the place where when you have to go there, they have to take you in… something you somehow haven’t to deserve.” At Etown, alumni are enthusiastically welcomed home in such a fashion, the College more than eager to acknowledge that once one graduates he/she continues to play an integral role as part of the College’s tradition, as the actual embodiment of an Etown education and service motto. Though seniors graduate annually and leave campus, Etown will never recognize a formal break-up.  Look at the events planned to confirm how honored Etown is to welcome back alumni.

For the eighth consecutive year, the Alumni Oktoberfest Party will be held on Oct. 15 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Raffensperger Alumni House and is sponsored by the Lancaster Brewing Company. Featured foods include authentic German assortments such as the Amish four-grain pale ale bratwurst and knockwurst, Kölsch wings, Deutschland potato salad and sauerkraut that will make you feel just like you’re in Munich. For dessert there will be chocolate cake.

The band Rue de la Pompe, featuring Bruce Campbell ’76 on bass, will perform at the party. Rue de la Pompe blends acoustic with vintage swing to form a gypsy jazz. To achieve the all-string sound, the instruments featured in the band are the guitar, violin, accordion, rhythm guitar and acoustic bass.

While we are all familiar with the famous Etown carrot cake, the premier of the Etown College Carrot Cake Granola will occur at Oktoberfest to promote the new partnership with the College and Nuts About Granola, which is owned by Sarah Lanphier ’09. The party is not open to current Etown students but for alumni-only who must pay $11 for admission. You can pre-register by going online at www.etownalumni.com.

The Oktoberfest is a great way for alumni to reconvene with traditional food and old friends. Laura Krieger ’10 is attending homecoming for the second year and is already registered for Oktoberfest at the Alumni House. “I was at Oktoberfest last year, and greatly enjoyed the time catching up with other Etown alumni,” she said.

Also on Oct. 15, the Blue Jay Bus Tours of Campus will be available. These escorted motor tours, will help alumni, parents and students get from one destination on-campus to another. The tours are convenient for those who cannot walk and want to see the campus.

The buses stop at Brinser Field, Bowers Writers House and Raffensperger Alumni House from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. every 15 minutes. The Blue Jay Bus Tours are not as well known as Oktoberfest, and Krieger only knew a little bit about them. She does not plan on using them because she enjoys walking through campus to see how it has changed. Courtney Kelly ’11 is attending Oktoberfest for the first time and is excited but also had little knowledge of the bus tours.

One of the main attractions of Homecoming is the parade held Oct. 15 at 11 a.m. from Hickory Lane to Willow Street to Spruce Street to College Avenue. This is the kickoff to Homecoming and features different floats created by the clubs at the College. The theme of the floats this year is “Famous Moments in History” and candy will be distributed throughout the parade. Following, President Strikwerda will officially open the activities for the weekend.

There are many other events throughout the weekend for both families and alumni, including sporting events such as the Blue Jay Softball vs. Alumnae at the Nest Softball Field at 10:30 a.m., food events such as brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Marketplace and academic events such as the Bowers Writers House open house from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 840 College Hill Lane between Cedar St. and Cherry St.

Students, alumni, family and friends can all come together to share a carrot cake granola this weekend and enjoy the new and old opportunities Etown has to offer that will make you feel like you’re at home. For more information on the homecoming weekend schedule go to http://www.etown.edu/newsandevents/homecoming.

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