By Taliyah Clark | Reporter
The Baylor spirit will illuminate proudly at 7 p.m. tonight at the annual homecoming bonfire and extravaganza on Fountain Mall.
Beginning in 1946, a bonfire was lit each night leading up to the homecoming game to distract the opposing team from stealing the bear mascot. During this time, the Immortal Ten were also honored by the lighting of the enternal flame. The bonfire ceremony will include a pep rally, speeches and other events for students.
“The great thing about Baylor’s bonfire is that the lighting of the bonfire and the light in general embodies the Baylor spirit, the one thing that connects Baylor’s past, present and future,” said San Antonio senior Marianna Arana, event chamber member.
First-year students are also excited about joining in on the homecoming traditions and their first bonfire.
“I’m looking forward to new Baylor traditions and getting hyped up for the game on Saturday,” Bossier City, La., freshman Mary-Kate Feaster said.
Each year, Baylor Chamber of Commerce and the Waco fire marshal come together to make sure the bonfire is safely assembled. Safety barricades will be around the fire, and fire marshals with fire extinguisher will guard the barrier to ensure students stay safe throughout the night.
“We want people to be safe and enjoy the bonfire, so always be aware of your surroundings and the boundaries set around the fire,” Arana said. “It’s also important to listen to the instructions of bonfire marshals from Baylor Chamber because they have been trained and are well equipped to protect students during the bonfire.”
Each year, students and alumni alike make lasting memories at the bonfire and extravaganza. Fairfield, Conn., junior Myles Olenski recalls the event as one of his most favorite memories.
“Baylor bonfire is one of my favorite traditions as a freshman because I had gotten a new camera, and I ended up going with my entire floor, and I got some great shots of my friends and of the giant fire,” Olenski said. “It was a blast.”