New this year is a child-friendly carnival that will benefit the families of Children’s Miracle Network. Student teams will host booths with children’s activities, including sand art, balloon animals, face painting and more, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at Memory Mall on UCF’s main campus. The carnival is free and open to the public.
Other traditional homecoming events, such as “Movie Knight” and Spirit Splash, will lead up to the Homecoming game Saturday, Oct. 23, when the Knights kick off against the Rice Owls at 3:30 p.m. at Bright House Networks Stadium. Campus parking lots will open for game day activities at 8 a.m.
UCF’s Homecoming parade will wind through campus starting at 11 a.m. Saturday. Staging will be held on Greek Park Drive, and the parade will travel clockwise along Gemini Boulevard North before ending in front of the UCF Arena.
Two notable UCF alumni will share grand marshal honors. Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty, a 1972 graduate, and state Sen. Lee Constantine, a 1974 graduate, will lead the parade, which is expected to last an hour and a half.
To accommodate the float building on Central Florida Boulevard, parking lots B5 and B6 will be closed at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22. These lots will remain closed until all of the Homecoming floats have been taken apart after the parade. Greek Park Drive will be closed starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday, and Gemini Boulevard North will be closed between Alafaya Trail and Orion Boulevard once the parade begins.
The football game will be UCF’s “Gold Rush,” meaning fans are encouraged to wear gold. It also will be Community Hero Appreciation Day. Military personnel, police officers and firefighters will be recognized in appreciation of their extraordinary effort and service. Fans are encouraged to purchase $20 tickets to donate to the community heroes. Tickets can be purchased by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at 407-823-1000.
Check out more events during Homecoming week. Lights, Camera, Action:
–Folk singer Corey Smith, hip-hop group LMFAO and rapper Ludacris will perform at the Homecoming concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, in the UCF Arena. “Concert Knight” is free for UCF students with ID, and tickets are available to the public through Ticketmaster and other outlets.
–Comedian Ralphie May, runner-up on the first season of the reality television competition “Last Comic Standing,” will perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, at the UCF Arena. “Comedy Knight” is free for UCF students with ID, and tickets are available to the public through Ticketmaster and other outlets.
— Spirit Splash, the annual pre-game pep rally, will begin at noon Friday, Oct. 22, at the Reflecting Pond. The event, hailed as the best university tradition in the state by “Florida Leader” magazine, will feature appearances by UCF’s cheerleaders and dance team and the Marching Knights.
— Celebrate the achievements of UCF alumni who have “reached for the stars” at the annual Black & Gold Gala, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, at the UCF Arena. The evening includes a cocktail reception, dinner and silent auction to benefit the UCF Alumni Trust Scholarship Fund. The cost is $70 per person, and corporate table sponsorships are available. To purchase tickets go to the Homecoming website.
— The UCF Alumni Association will host its game day tailgate from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, at the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center. The event is free to alumni and their guests. Just show your alumni key card at the door. The Alumni Association will be collecting donations of bars of soap and new socks as part of a United Way charity drive. The first 100 fans who bring soap or new socks will receive a free UCF alumni hat.
— Following the football game, fans can get their first glimpse of Coach Donnie Jones’ new-look Knights during UCF Basketball Postgame Madness at the UCF Arena. The free, hour-long event, which will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the football game, will feature an inter-squad scrimmage that includes both the men’s and women’s teams, as well as the opportunity to select your season ticket location for the upcoming season.
— UCF alumni can register for the annual Homecoming golf tournament at the Villas of Grand Cypress Golf Club, which will start at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20. Registration is $125 per golfer and can be done online at www.ucfknightsnetwork.com/Homecoming.
— On Friday, Oct. 22, the UCF volleyball team will face UAB at 7 p.m. at the Venue, and the women’s soccer team will host Tulsa at 7 p.m.
— UCF’s Young Alumni Chapter invites UCF graduates to downtown Orlando for the Black & Gold Takeover party. The festivities begin at 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, at Wall Street Plaza. Admission is free. To learn more, go to https://ucfalumni.com/.