What to expect for homecoming week

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Florida Tech will celebrate its students and alumni from around the world during the first week of November for Homecoming this year.

‘Around the World’ is the 2015 theme, anyway, as the events will kick off on Nov. 3 and go for a almost a week until that Sunday on Nov. 8.

Homecoming will be packed with events throughout the week: starting with an opening ceremonies and the hockey game Nov. 3, followed by Catch Me if You Can presented by College Players and a baseball game on Nov 4.

The Homecoming 5k, hosted by the Alumni Association and Meg O’Malleys, is on Nov. 5 from 5 to 7 p.m., followed by the talent show that night from 8 to 10 p.m.

The 5k is unique, said Bino Campanini, the vice president for Alumni Relations, because it’s at night, and because they’ve partnered with Meg O’Malleys.

Runners will have free food and beer at the end of the 5k. It’s $25 regularly, but students get a discount and can run for $10, and all runners get a free bag of goodies, and a free technical shirt by Running Zone.

President Anthony Catanese runs the 5k as well.

“We had 320 runners last year, and probably 67 were alumni,” Campanini said. “We get some runners and students who like to run. It’s just a kind of fun thing to do.”

On Friday evening, Matt and Kim will play in Downtown Melbourne. Support bands will play beforehand, and Matt and Kim are expected to play at around 10 p.m., based on past performance, according to Campanini.

About 10 – 15,000 people are expected to attend the show that night, and trolley services will be provided to students. The show is free, but beverages and surrounding areas at the Downtown Streetfest are not.

“Before we started doing concerts downtown, they did them at Southgate fields. And it would bring 1,000 people, maybe,” Campanini said.

But Campanini said Homecoming isn’t just about Florida Tech anymore — it’s about the whole town.

Just look at the Florida Tech banners throughout Downtown Melbourne to see the difference, he said.

“Watching a show with 500 students might be enjoyable, but watching a show with 10,000 people — that’s much more enjoyable,” he said. “The atmosphere, everything. I think it’s just a great a partnership.”

On Saturday, the day will be a big, long day for many, with a parade in the morning, followed by a tailgate, then the football game, and finally the student carnival in front of Crawford.

“This year, one of the biggest changes we did was we’re replacing the dance with a carnival,” said Erica Richardson, the assistant director of student activities.

The carnival will feature many multicultural games and foods to fit with the ‘Around the World’ theme, and to celebrate Florida Tech’s diverse body of students.

“Hands down, it is the carnival that is definitely something students should not miss,” said Likitha  Somasekhar, homecoming chair, in an emailed statement. “They are going to be a part of the amazing multicultural extravaganza. We have a lot of games organized and a lot of different varieties of international food.”

The homecoming committee is planning to bring a giant ferris wheel, tons of food trucks and other games and carnival experiences for the students, according to Richardson.

“Since we have a wide population of international students, I am sure not all of them know what a carnival is, so it will pull a huge crowd,” Somasekhar said.

At the same time students experience the carnival, the Alumni Association will be hosting its annual Homecoming Gala for the alumni, where each college will present an award to an outstanding alumni. Usually about 560 alumni attend the gala, according to Campanini.

The events are hosted by Student Activities and the Alumni Association. The Student Activities budget for homecoming is $60,000.

Companies or organizations sponsoring homecoming events are Geico, Audi, Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, Meg O’Malleys, Melbourne Mainstreet, and Student Government Association, according to the website homecoming.fit.edu.

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