UC Riverside’s Homecoming 2013 Features Something for Everyone

Events run from Feb. 26 through March 2, culminating with basketball doubleheader, "Back to Campus" talks and HEAT Music Festival

scotty highlander and alums

Scotty Highlander will be front and center at a variety of events at UCR's Homecoming 2013.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Whether you are a current student, parents of a current student, an alumni, a staff or faculty member, or just a friend of the university, Homecoming 2013 at the University of California, Riverside has something for you. The festivities kick-off with Scotty’s Birthday Party at the Bell Tower at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 26 and run throughout the week, culminating in the homecoming men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader and HEAT Music Festival on Saturday, March 2.

More than two dozen events are scheduled throughout the week, with many student-centered events taking place at lunch during the week and a variety of events for alumni taking place on Friday evening and throughout the day on Saturday.

One of the big moments of the week will come on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at noon when UCR’s loveable ursine mascot Scotty Highlander will attempt to set a record for the most hugs by a mascot in one hour. A previous attempt was made during Homecoming 2011, but rain forced the attempt inside and limited student participation. In the end, Scotty finished with 900 hugs.

“ASUCR, ASPB and Student Life are partnering to make this dream a reality, and all are confident that we can beat it, said Tonantzin Oseguera, assistant dean in Student Life. “We need 2,000 hugs in one hour to set the record.”

Oseguera added that organizers are petitioning for Guinness to add a category of “hugs by a mascot,” but said that if the petition was denied, Scotty would attempt to break the all-time record of 2,436 hugs in one hour.

In a unique change to the Homecoming schedule, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams will be playing at home on both Thursday and Saturday. On Thursday, the women will play Cal Poly at 4 p.m. with the men following at 8 p.m. against UC Davis. Then on Saturday the women will host UC Santa Barbara at 1 p.m. and the men will take on the University of the Pacific at 5 p.m. Tickets for the basketball games may be purchased in advance through their website. UCR undergraduate students receive free admission with a valid UCR student ID.

“It’s a terrific opportunity for both our teams to get to play on the actual Homecoming date this year. We have a lot planned before, during and after the game,” said Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing & Corporate Partnerships Jason List. “I think people coming back to campus for the first time will see a positive injection of excitement at our games and people who come every year will continue to be impressed with the strides forward we are taking.”

The traditional Homecoming Bonfire will be held on Friday, March 1 at 7 p.m. The party will include fireworks, an oxygen bar, a mechanical bull, and music from DJ Triple XL from KISS FM 102.7, DJ Destructo. The first 200 students to attend will also get free food from In ‘n’ Out Burger.

Saturday’s scheduled events include a hike to the “C”, tours of the UCR Botanic Gardens, the 20th anniversary reunion of the Pan African Theme Hall, a reunion of campus ambassadors and tour guides, and “Back to Class” presentations by Matt Barth, professor of engineering and director of the Center for Environmental Research and Technology, Marylynn Yates, dean of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, and Juan Felipe Herrera, professor of creative writing and California Poet Laureate. A full schedule of alumni-related events is available on the Alumni Association website, and RSVPs are required for some events.

March 2 is also Parents Day, where the parents of UCR students are invited to visit the campus. The day begins with the UCR Parents Association Meeting at 12 p.m., then opens up to include the campus-wide Homecoming events. Registration is required. For more information on Parents Day, visit the Parents Association website.

Between Saturday’s games, the family-friendly 5th annual Highlander Scot Fest will take place at the Aberdeen-Inverness Residence Hall Dining Room. This event features music, carnival-style games and a delicious barbeque meal. Admission to the Scot Fest is free, with meals costing $10 for students, $11 for non-students in advance and $13 for non-students at the door.

The HEAT Music Festival will wrap up the homecoming festivities with six hours of music on three stages around the HUB and Bell Tower. Porter Robinson and Tyga are the headliners for the show.

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