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Bemidji State gears up for Homecoming

As Bemidji State University commemorates its 90th year (1919-2009), the public is invited to partake in a variety of homecoming events happening from Oct. 2-4.

"It's been easy being green - for 90 years" is the theme of this year's homecoming hoopla.

Events began Monday with the coronation of BSU's homecoming king and queen, Nambee Ragavan and Kelsy Lavrenz, and continue through Sunday.

BSU celebrated its first homecoming on Oct. 6, 1927.  Traditionally, homecoming has always been a chance for alumni to revisit campus and relive old memories. For students, it set aside a week to celebrate their college experience.

Homecoming is also about community participation, said Marla Patrias, director of BSU Alumni Relations.

"BSU has always had a strong bond with the community," she said. "It could not exist without the community's support."

On Friday and Saturday, the public is invited to tour the new expansion and renovations of Sattgast Hall (science building) and the new Nursing Clinical Resource Center.

Homecoming events on Saturday will start at 9 a.m. with a 5K run/walk on a course that includes a tour of the BSU campus.

"The 5k race is coordinated by BSU alumnus Randy Fulton, owner of Vacation Sports in White Bear Lake, Minn," said Patrias.

Events continue with a tailgate party and carnival featuring children's games from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Diamond Point Park before the 1 p.m. homecoming football game versus the St. Cloud State University.

"There will BSU student booths at the carnival, which are judged on how well they are decorated in this year's theme," said Patrias. "The students compete for cash prizes."

At halftime, the 2009 Outstanding Alumni Award recipients will be recognized along with this year's homecoming king and queen. BSU named seven alumni to its Outstanding Alumni honor roll this year.

The Bemidji Area Alumni Chapter will host a Beaver Block Party beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday in downtown Bemidji. A street dance with live music will be located on Beltrami Avenue Northwest, between Third Street and Fourth Street.

"The whole community is invited to attend this fun event," said Patrias.

This year's band will feature the Front Fenders, from Fargo, who played at last year's homecoming street dance.

"The crowd loved them last year," said Patrias. "They got people engaged and dancing."

Persons must be 21 years old or older to attend. Cost is $5 per person and includes a free BSU homecoming mug.

Friday, Oct. 2

- 11:30 a.m., Beaver Pride Luncheon, Walnut Hall - $8 per person.

- 2:30 p.m., Sattgast Rededication.

- 3 p.m., tour of Sattgast Hall and the new Nursing Clinical Resource Center, Memorial Hall.

- 7 p.m., BSU Alumni Association Honors Banquet, Beaux Arts Ballroom. $25 per person. Social hour at 6:30 p.m. Awards program at 8 p.m.

- 7 p.m., BSU Women's Volleyball versus Augustana College, BSU Gymnasium.

Saturday, Oct. 3

- 9 a.m., Homecoming 5k run/walk. Registration starts at 8 a.m. at the Chet Anderson Stadium. $10 registration fee includes t-shirt and beverages.

- 10 a.m., Tour of Sattgast Hall and the new Nursing Clinical Resource Center, Memorial Hall.

- 11 a.m., BSU homecoming and tailgate party and carnival, Diamond Point Park, next to the Chet Anderson Football Stadium.

- 1 p.m., homecoming football game, Chet Anderson Stadium. BSU Beavers play against St. Cloud State Huskies.

- 3 p.m., BSU Women's Volleyball versus Wayne State, BSU Gymnasium.

- 4:30 p.m., football alumni reunion, Bemidji Elks Club following the football game. All football alumni are invited and encouraged to attend.

- 8 p.m., Beaver Block Party, downtown Bemidji on Beltrami Avenue between Third and Fourth Street.

Sunday, Oct. 4

- 3 p.m., Carl O. Thompson Memorial Concert, Thompson Recital Hall in Bangsberg Hall. Tickets are available at door.