By: Rowan Hetzer

The University of Cincinnati celebrated its 97th annual Homecoming on Oct. 14, 2023, filling campus with a variety of festivities. A dynamic parade, multiple exciting tailgates, and a highly anticipated football game brought students, alumni, and the local community together for the time-honored celebration.

The entire week leading up to the main day was filled with campus-wide homecoming festivities, especially for alumni. The Lindner College of Business extended a warm welcome to alumni, donors, and select honors students on Oct. 11 for a lively networking event. The UC African American Alumni Affiliate embraced the spirit of competition as Greek life alumni hit the court for a thrilling basketball game, and the Alumni Band held a reunion at the Taproom. The final kickoff event was a party on Sheakley Lawn with music, entertainment, and food.

Parade-goers lined up along Clifton Avenue to watch as numerous campus groups, fraternities and sororities, and community organizations marched from Calhoun Street to Clifton Court Hall. Multiple Greek life groups collaboratively built elaborate floats, such as Tri Delta and Sigma Phi Epsilon’s float depicting a UC van chasing a spinning cyclone. Dance troupes, like UC’s Classy Cats and young dancers from Highsteppers Dance Studio, entertained the crowd with fun choreography. Even FC Cincinnati mascot Gary the Lion made an appearance midway through the parade and interacted with the crowd, posing for photos and high-fiving younger attendees.

People migrated to Sigma Sigma Commons for pregame tailgating. Alumni and families partied under canopy tents and drank Cincy Light while waiting for the stadium gates to open. They passed the time by cooking hot dogs on portable grills, playing cornhole and beer pong, and catching up with college friends. Soon students who participated in the parade would join in the activities — all waiting for the homecoming game.

Unfortunately for those excited about a potential UC football win, the homecoming game ended in a 30-10 defeat to Iowa State. This marked Cincinnati’s first homecoming loss since 2017. While UC briefly held a lead early game, the game took a turn when wide receiver Dee Wiggins failed to catch quarterback Emory Jones’ potential touchdown throw. Next, Iowa State’s quarterback Rocco Becht scored a game-changing touchdown. This loss keeps UC winless in the Big 12 league.

Despite a disappointing loss in the homecoming football game, the community came together to enjoy the festivities and celebrate the spirit of UC, showcasing the bond that unites students, alumni, and local supporters.

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