Students and alumni enjoy pregame tailgating despite weather
Despite rainy weather and overcast skies, thousands gathered in the parking lots around Kelly/Shorts Stadium for tailgating before the kickoff of the Homecoming 2017 football game.
Parking lots at the south end of campus opened to returning Central Michigan University alumni and current students at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 – four hours prior to the kickoff for the CMU-Toledo football game.
The Tailgate Village event opened at noon. Taking place near the Rose Pond, the event featured a free beer garden and a free live musical performance from the Paddlebots, sponsored by the Maroon and Gold concert series.
The annual Alumni Village event opened at 12:30 p.m. near the Rose Pond area, which featured tents dedicated to individual colleges as well as a 50th Anniversary tent for alumni from the classes of 1960 to 1967. This year marked the first time the Alumni Village featured designated tents for "affinity" groups such as Greek Life, LGBTQ services, Central Michigan Life and Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates, said Alumni Relations Director Marcie Otteman.
Among those in the 50th Anniversary tent was James Telfer, who graduated with his bachelor’s degree in 1966 and his masters in 1967, both in the communications field. This was Telfer's second year attending the Alumni Village event.
"It's very welcoming and very exciting to be back at CMU," Telfer said. "I think the campus has only gotten more beautiful over the years."
Kari Ziegler, a former management major and Class of 1984 alumna, also took the time to visit Alumni Village. Ziegler has been attending Homecoming Weekend tailgating festivities for the past 25 years, usually with a group of 30 to 70 old friends, many also from the College of Business Administration.
"(This was) another good turnout," Ziegler said. "CMU continues to be my favorite place on Earth. It's always a great time to come back, but there's no better time to come back than Homecoming Weekend."