Concert, bonfire, pep rally, parade highlight YSU’s 79th Homecoming

Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown State University is celebrating its 79th annual homecoming this week with events ranging from the Fall Fire Fest concert to the annual parade up Fifth Avenue, a big football rivalry and the crowning of the king and queen.

This year’s king and queen will be crowned during halftime ceremonies of the Saturday football game against South Dakota State at Stambaugh Stadium.

This year’s theme is “All the Penguins” to commemorate YSU’s 79th Homecoming Celebration.

Saturday’s parade starts at 4 p.m. on Fifth Avenue, and the football game begins at 6 p.m. Each year, floats, bands, clowns, fraternities, sororities, student organizations and many others gather on Wood Street and march up Fifth past the stadium with crowds assembled on both the east and west sides of the street.

The parade is a campus tradition, and prizes will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place float entries as well as three honorable mentioned categories.

New Jersey rapper and singer Topaz Jones headlines the seventh annual Fall Fire Fest, 7 to 10 p.m. today presented by Penguin Productions in coordination with YSU’s 79th Homecoming celebration.

The event, which also includes food vendors, a bonfire, a pep rally and performances by local artists Very Good Friends and GRIZZLY, is free and open to the public and will be in the M71 parking lot at YSU at 351 Grant St.

The pep rally will showcase YSU student-athletes, the introduction of YSU’s 2019 Homecoming Court and the YSU Marching Pride with the Penguinettes. University President Jim Tressel will also be on hand. Additionally, various student organizations and university departments will host interactive activities for students.

YSU Parking Services will extend operation of the Penguin Shuttle, with additional stops at the event site from 6:45 p.m. until 11:15 p.m.