By Meredith Howard | Staff Writer, Video by Igor Stepczynski | Broadcast Reporter
Baylor’s Homecoming spans three days (as well as Monday’s Chapel service) and will offer a variety of events for the Baylor community to attend earlier in the week. Students were invited to Family Dinner with the Livingstones Tuesday, where they received a free meal from food trucks parked on the lawn outside Allbritton House.
This was followed by Queen & Her Court, where Kaylin Blancas, nominated by Student Foundation, was crowned homecoming queen and the homecoming court was presented.
Then came Pigskin Revue’s first performance, where the top eight performances from last spring’s All-University Sing put on an encore for a captive audience of alumni, students, family and friends.
Next was Mass Meeting, the favorite tradition of Southlake senior CJ Foster, this year’s homecoming chair. The first Mass Meeting was held in 1928 to commemorate the loss of the Immortal Ten, 10 Baylor students who were killed in a tragic bus-train accident in 1967. This event was open only to male students until “the creation of a separate Women’s Mass Meeting in 1967, held the night before the men’s gathering.
“There’s really nothing like it, getting the freshman class riled up each year. It’s really special,” Foster said of the Mass Meeting. After the event, freshmen walked together to Fountain Mall, where they built and prepared the bonfire.
Over 20 official homecoming events will be held today, including a variety of open houses and alumni reunions. Friday’s main events are the Extravaganza, pep rally and bonfire.
The Extravaganza will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Fountain Mall. This tradition encompasses “the passing of a torch in honor of the immortal words of former Baylor President Samuel Palmer Brooks: ‘To you seniors of the past, of the present, of the future, I entrust the care of Baylor University. To you I hand the torch.’”
Students can stick around Fountain Mall after the Extravaganza to take part in the pep rally and lighting of the bonfire by four torchbearers, one from each grade level.
“That’s the crescendo of extravaganza, the bonfire burning,” Athens senior Zach Loflin, chairman of the Baylor Line, said. “The fire will be 8 feet tall of pallets; it will burn the majority of the night down to ashes, but the flames will probably be gone by 11 or 12.”
Homecoming concludes Saturday with the parade and football game against Texas Tech.
The parade will be held from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and will travel from downtown Waco to the heart of campus with over 150 entries. The grand marshals will be the women’s basketball team and coach Kim Mulkey. The parade will also be broadcast live on KCEN-TV Ch. 6, as well as on KCEN’s website, Facebook, YouTube and Periscope.
A complete schedule of this year’s events can be found online.