Published: Oct. 18, 2011

The University of Colorado Boulder's 2011 Homecoming launches on Friday, Oct. 21, with the theme "Celebrating CU Through the Decades."

"We are creating a new tradition that brings together the Greeks, residence halls, club sports and other groups to celebrate the great history of our university," said Rachel Mischel, CU Student Government Homecoming director. "I am beyond excited to see the interpretations of this year's theme in all the parade entries."

The university-wide activities for the weekend will kick off with the newly minted combination of the popular Pearl Street Stampede and the Homecoming Parade. Keeping with the celebratory theme, this year's parade will feature 2011 Grand Marshal, former coach and CU legend Bill McCartney, aka "Coach Mac."

Parade events begin at 7 p.m. on the Pearl Street Mall in downtown Boulder, in the Courthouse Plaza area. The festivities will combine the traditional pep rally and Golden Buffalo Marching Band performance with the celebration and fun of the Homecoming Parade's floats and community entries.

The parade will end in the 1000 block of the Pearl Street Mall, in the parking lot area of the former Daily Camera building. There will be an additional performance from the marching band, remarks from head football Coach Jon Embree, McCartney and CU football team captains. The rally will close with a performance from CU-Boulder's a capella group, The Buffoons.

The Ralphie's Corral pregame event will get things rolling Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 22 on Benson Field. The pregame event features a marching band and CU Spirit Team performance, family fun zone, concession stands and a special appearance from Ralphie the Buffalo, CU's beloved live buffalo mascot.

The football matchup between the University of Oregon and University of Colorado gets under way at 1:30 p.m. at Folsom Field. McCartney will be recognized on the field along with the homecoming committee at halftime. Former Homecoming grand marshal and CU track star Jenny Barringer Simpson will also be honored for her gold medal performance at the World Championships this past September.

Homecoming weekend closes out with a 90's-themed concert hosted by University of Colorado Program Council in the Glenn Miller Ballroom. Headliners Eve 6 will perform with supporting artists Nine Days. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the concert is free and open to the public. Tickets are required for entry and can be picked up from Program Council offices in the University Memorial Center, room 401, and at the venue the night of the show. Tickets do not guarantee entry, and capacity is first-come, first-seated.

Some other events marking Homecoming Weekend across the campus include:

--Oct. 21: 2011 Residence Life Reunion, hosted by the CU-Boulder Alumni Association.

--Oct. 21: "CU Alumnae Talk Sports" for School of Journalism and Mass Communication alumni.

--Oct. 21: Colorado Law Homecoming Weekend with a panel presentation on happiness and satisfaction in the legal profession.

--Oct. 22: Leeds School of Business pregame reception on Engebretson Quad.

For more information about CU Homecoming visit and the 2011 Homecoming Facebook page at