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APPtoberfest: New Homecoming Events Designed to Bring Students, Alumni Together

By Jessica Isaacs

It’s that time of year again! Leaves are changing, school is back in session and, despite the heavy rain we’ve seen lately, the spirit of the Appalachian State community is in full swing this homecoming weekend.

This week’s wet weather has forced the university to make a few changes to the schedule, but this year’s newest addition to the celebration, “APPtoberfest,” is still a go for Friday night.imgres

Initial plans for the APPtoberfest events included a pep rally, a brand new alumni beer garden, live music, food, inflatables, fireworks, a bonfire and more. The bonfire and fireworks were canceled, as well as the school’s annual homecoming parade, but all other festivities have been moved indoors and will still take place at the Holmes Convocation Center.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. at the southwest and northwest entrances of the Holmes Center and parking will be available in the lots at Holmes Center, JET building, Hill Street and at the Rivers Street parking deck.

Students and alumni will mix and mingle and enjoy food from local food trucks, Appalachian Food Services and Appalachian Cookie Company as they celebrate belonging to the family of black and gold.

Also new this year is the alumni beer garden, which is available to all ASU alumni over the age of 21 with valid ID. Pre-purchase a beer and wine package for three drinks and a mug or get single drink tickets at the door.

The fun continues with the annual homecoming kazoo band competition at 7:30 p.m. followed by messages from Chancellor Everts, Coach Fox and Coach Satterfield at the “Spirit Under the Stars” pep rally.

Event goers will dance the night away to the sounds of the Bantum Rooster Band, who will play live music and songs from the ’80s, ’90s and today.

Chad Leder, director of communications for the university’s McKinney Alumni Center, said the entire Appalachian family looks forward to celebrating homecoming every year.

“It’s that mountain, family feel. It’s the connection that we all have about going to school here and being in the mountains during the fall and in a football environment,” Leder said. “All of those things make people want to come back.”

He explained that this year’s new APPtoberfest celebration aims to integrate the perspective of both current students and the alumni.

“We wanted it to be a festival kind of atmosphere. The whole point is to bring the students and the alumni together,” Leder said. “In the past we’ve had students celebrating homecoming on one side of campus and the alumni on another side, ad that just doesn’t make any sense. We’re all Appalachian through and through.

“It’s important to keep alumni engaged and also to let students know that once they graduate there’s still a home for them here. There’s still a place for people to come back to and be a part of the university and the community. Getting them together reignites that bond of the university.”

After the APPtoberfest events on Friday, the homecoming festivities will continue on Saturday beginning with the annual alumni and friends breakfast at the McKinney Center. Tailgating events throughout the day will lead up to the 3:30 p.m. kick-off at Kidd Brewer Stadium, where the Mountaineers will take on the University of Wyoming Cowboys.

Click here to read more about APPtoberfest and register for alumni festivities, including the beer garden.

Click here for a full schedule of homecoming events going on this weekend at ASU.

Click here to learn more about the McKinney Alumni Center.