By Kaylyn Christopher
Times West Virginian
Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College will be welcoming students, alumni and community members to join in their homecoming celebration beginning Thursday, Oct. 10.
Prior to the anticipated homecoming parade, which begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, downtown Fairmont will feature the Marion Market, full of vendors and local artisans.
Emily Swain, the director of alumni relations, also said the market will include live acoustic music and a circus act by Zany Umbrella Circus out of Pittsburgh.
In addition, a jump house located next to Huntington Bank will be available for children’s entertainment.
“People can come to the market and hang out and then stay for the parade and the pep rally,” Jessica Spatafore, student activities program director, said. “It’s a whole evening of downtown festivities.”
The parade is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Lineup will be on Everest Drive, and the parade will travel down Adams Street.
“The parade is a mix of community and campus organizations and all of our king and queen candidates on the court,” Spatafore said.
Spatafore said the parade marshal is Judy Byers, the director of the Folklife Center at FSU.
Following the parade, at approximately 7 p.m., the community is also invited to attend the pep rally at the courthouse plaza.
“We thought to increase participation from the community we would keep it downtown,” Spatafore said.
Spatafore and Swain both encouraged the community to be actively involved in the pep rally by voting in the traditional spirit stick competition.
To vote for a student organization, community members can donate food items by placing them in the designated box for the organization they wish to vote for. Spatafore said monetary donations will also be accepted.
“All the money and food items will go to the campus food pantry, The Nest,” Spatafore said.
A number of events are also scheduled for Friday.
At 9 a.m. there will be an Alumni Award Winner Roundtable during which students and the community can participate in a question-and-answer session with the 2013 Alumni Award winners. The location is to be announced.
“It’s an opportunity to let our alumni who are very successful in their careers give everyone else some tips and show how they made it to where they are,” Swain said.
This year’s Alumni Award winners include: Outstanding Young Alumna Laura Meadows, Class of 2007; Outstanding Young Alumnus Chris Weaver, Class of 1999; Outstanding Alumna Tina Shaw, Class of 1982; Outstanding Alumnus Dr. G.H. “Budd” Sapp, Class of 1980; Alumna of Achievement Lydia McCue, Class of 1967; and Alumnus of Achievement Curtis Fleming, Class of 1990.
Those award winners will also be honored at a brunch at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the Falcon Center Conference Room. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door.
Other events scheduled for Friday are a tour of Fairmont with the Marion County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at 1:30 p.m. and a donor-centered planned-giving seminar at 4 p.m.
In addition, on Friday morning at 11 a.m., the FSU Class of 1963 will have a reunion and an Emeritus Induction Luncheon.
“Come out and see these folks tell stories about their favorite memories at Fairmont State and how it impacted and shaped their lives,” Swain said.
A reunion for people who attended FSU in the 1980s will also be held Friday evening.
At 6:30 p.m. Friday, the Fairmont State Athletic Association will induct the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013, which includes Kara (Morris) Adkins (women’s basketball), Kristy (Renfro) Menker (women’s swimming), Todd Anderson (football), Martin “Sonny” Bartic (football), Terry Deremer (baseball), Ted Echols (men’s basketball, baseball) and Brian Tristani (men’s basketball). The induction will take place in Gym 1 of the Falcon Center.
Prior to the induction, a social will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available by contacting the Fairmont State Athletic Department at 304-367-4220.
Friday’s events will conclude with a homecoming dance open only to students at 9 p.m. at Colebank Hall. The Chris Weaver Band, which includes this year’s Outstanding Young Alumnus Chris Weaver, will be performing.
“They are an up-and-coming country band in Nashville,” Spatafore said.
Saturday holds homecoming weekend’s main event: the West Liberty vs. Fairmont State homecoming football game at Duvall-Rosier Field.
Pregame tailgates will begin at noon, and fans can come cheer on the Fighting Falcons at 2 p.m.
Swain said she hopes the weekend’s events will be well attended.
“If we have a good crowd, it goes to show that the community is invested in and cares about the student experience,” she said. “We have a lot of alumni in Marion County, and all of these events are about bringing people back to campus and celebrating what the institutions mean to everyone.”
To make reservations for events that require preregistration, call 304-367-4015.
Email Kaylyn Christopher at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @KChristopherTWV.