After a pandemic hiatus, Homecoming returns to UNLV

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The Rebel Homecoming sign in the Alumni Amphitheater at the homecoming festival. Photo by Jimmy Romo.

The Academic Hall at UNLV was taken over by students due to one of UNLVs longest lasting traditions, which was put on hold by the pandemic last year, the Homecoming Festival and Parade.

Food, attractions, live-music and club stands spanned across the Valerie Pida Plaza to the Alta Ham Fine Arts Building for the festival. The festival and parade come after the window painting competition and variety show. 

“I’m really excited to see people out and having fun,” said Chris Heavey, UNLV executive vice president and provost. “Just celebrating our homecoming in the great university.” 

Heavey mentioned that he spoke to many of the UNLV alumni that were in their own section with a bar and a live piano performance. He said the alumni are excited again to see the campus come back to life. 

In 1966, when the first homecoming on campus was celebrated, it was sponsored by the student government, known at the time as CSNS.

The Scarlet and Gray Parade took place as it got dark out. University’s marching band led the parade with the fight song. The crowd shouted, “Go, fight, win!“ 

UNLV President Keith Whifield, led the golf cart parade decorated with silver and red garlands around the roof and pillars of the cart. Red, white and silver balloons were placed on the front of the golf cart. Heavey was on the back tossing candy to the crowd. 

The golf cart parade was also a competition in which Freaks n’ Greeks won again with their cart decorated with christmas lights and pac-man cut outs, following their 80s inspired theme. 

Greek Kids on the Block received second place with stars and a large sparkly red-glitter UNLV logo on the front of their golf cart.  

All the golf carts had people on the sides walking with the cart waving and handing out stuff to the crowd. 

After the parade, the night continued with DJ Prenup providing music at the Alumni Amphitheatre where the “Rebel Homecoming” light up letter sign stood. 

The College of Science handed out ice cream that was made in students’ faces with liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen reaches extremely low temperatures at roughly -320 degrees Fahrenheit. Eric Chronister, the dean of the College of Sciences, and Alison Sloat, UNLV associate professor, mixed whole milk, chocolate chips, sugar and poured in liquid nitrogen to make the ice cream. 

The UNLV School of Medicine brought in a blender connected to a bike to force students to blend their own smoothies and served them in cups with their logo. 

UNLV Kinesiology Club, Kappa Iota Nu, had a table testing students’ upper body strength with a push-up contest in hopes to make the impromptu leaderboard. Josh Easton, the president of the organization, was in attendance to hype up students to push out as many as possible in 60 seconds. 

On the men’s side two men named Dom C. and Kian T. set the high score with 90 push-ups. For the women’s side, Katie J. managed to reach 52 push-ups. 

“It’s great to be able to serve the community,” Easton said as he finalized the push-up contest to hand out the prizes.

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