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Homecoming hoopla: 'Back to the Future' theme recognizes changes at BSU

As Bemidji State University commemorates its 91st year (1919-2010), the public is invited to partake in a variety of homecoming events happening this week.

Traditionally, homecoming has been an opportunity for alumni to revisit campus and relive old memories. For students, it is a week to celebrate their college experience. But homecoming is also about community participation, said Marla Patrias, director of BSU Alumni Relations.

This year's theme of "Back to the Future," was chosen by the student body as a way to recognize BSU's past and present, and to recognize one significant change - a new president.

"The new BSU president said he will go into lake with the football team if they win," Patrias said, also noting that president Richard Hanson will likely walk in himself, rather than be carried.

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 campus is beautiful right now," Patrias said. "Last year we had a great 5k run/walk turnout with 75 participants, more than we've ever had before. We hope more people will register this year. The 5k is open for anyone, including kids."

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 Upper Iowa Peacocks.

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

At halftime, the 2010 Outstanding Alumni Award recipients will be recognized along with this year's homecoming king and queen. BSU has named five alumni to its Outstanding Alumni honor roll this year. They are Gary Frazier (1975), Susan (Mattson) Halena (1977), Ron Johnson (1975), Scott Pearson (1977) and Tom Richard (1966).

The Bemidji Area Alumni Chapter will host its third annual Beaver Block Party beginning at 8:30 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.

Persons must be 21 years old or older to attend. Cost is $5 per person and includes a free BSU homecoming mug for the first 1,500 people will receive a free mug.

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

This year's block party will feature new music from Urban Myth from Minneapolis, which features classic rock, funk, R&B and oldies music. Guitar player and lead vocalist Nick Baca has worked with artist Johnny Holm of the Johnny Holm Band, who has played in the Bemidji area before.

"This band likes to have audience participation and they have a lot of experience playing at street dances," Patrias said. "It's going to be a lot of fun."

This year's BSU king and queen, sponsored by the BSU Student Senate, are Charlie Woodson and Abby Schwingler.

Patrias said while BSU homecoming week celebrates students and alumni, it is also a time for the community to visit campus.

"We really always promote our homecoming as a community event," she said. "We encourage the community to come and participate in the 5k run/walk, the tailgate party, block party and the football game. We hope to see a nice big crowd to help cheer on the football team."

For more information about the BSU homecoming schedule, or to register for events, go to the BSU Alumni Association website at and click on Homecoming 2010 under "Coming Events."

Friday, Oct. 1

- 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Beaver Pride Luncheon, New City Ballroom; $8 per person. Join other BSU athletic fans as they listen to coaches and student athletes talk about their upcoming season.

- 6:30 p.m., BSU Alumni Association Honors Banquet, Beaux Arts Ballroom; $25 per person. Advanced registration required. Join alumni, faculty and friends of BSU for the presentation of the 2010 BSU Outstanding Alumni awards.

Saturday, Oct. 2

- 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. For more information e-mail

- 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., BSU homecoming and tailgate party and carnival, Diamond Point Park, next to the Chet Anderson Football Stadium.

- 1 p.m., BSU homecoming football game versus the Upper Iowa Peacocks at Chet Anderson Stadium.

- 3-5 p.m., Lutheran Campus Center open house, 1221 Birchmont Drive.

- 5 p.m., BSU football alumni reunion, Bemidji Elks Club following the football game. All football alumni are invited to attend.

- 8:30 p.m., Beaver Block Party, downtown Bemidji on Beltrami Avenue between Third and Fourth Streets; $5 cover charge at the gate. Gather with friends for a street dance with live music by Urban Myth from Minneapolis.

Sunday, Oct. 3

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