NAU’s Homecoming 2009 begins next week, featuring several events recognizing NAU alumni military veterans. A highlight is the Oct. 24 parade in downtown Flagstaff that will include a flyover by F-16 fighter jets from the Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing Command out of Tucson.

Col. Greg Stroud, a Coconino High School graduate, is Wing Commander and will lead the four jets to signal the start of the parade. Stroud is married to Pennie Gillette Stroud, a Coconino High and 1979 NAU graduate.

The week’s events run the gamut—from Thursday’s Traditions Day carnival at Observatory Field debuting the first Homecoming Chili Cookoff, to the annual Mr. Lumberjack Pageant and bonfire, to the crowning of Homecoming king and queen, a football matchup with Idaho State and more.

Some highlights for the week ahead include:

Tuesday, Oct. 20
Homecoming Dedicatee Banquet
6 p.m., High Country Conference Center

Glenn and Tracie Hansen will be honored for their selection as the 2009 Homecoming Dedicatees. The 2009 Homecoming king and queen also will be announced. Tickets are $8 for students and $15 for non-students. Contact the Associated Students of Northern Arizona University at (928) 523-4971, or visit the ASNAU office on the second floor of the University Union.

Thursday, Oct. 22
Homecoming Traditions Day Activities
2-9 p.m. Observatory and Hilltop Fields

  • Carnival on Observatory Field, 2-6 p.m.
    Free fun for students featuring Eurobungee, human bowling, mechanical bull riding and more. Bring your NAU ID.
  • Tug-of-war contest, 5 p.m.
  • Chili Cookoff, 5:30 p.m.
    homecoming 2006

    Four teams from NAU/Sodexo Campus Dining and four from the High Country Conference Center will compete to win the palates of a panel of judges. The winning team receives a hand-crafted championship prize belt and an official Sodexo Certificate of Chili-Cooking Superiority. Students can enjoy free samples beginning at 5:30 until the chili pans are empty.

  • Mr. Lumberjack Pageant, 6 p.m.
    For nearly four decades, the NAU Kayettes have hosted this Homecoming tradition where student contestants take the stage to show their school spirit. Contestants compete in arms, talent and question-and-answer categories. The winner receives a prize package that includes a variety of gift certificates from local businesses and earns a spot with the Kayettes in Saturday’s Homecoming parade through downtown Flagstaff.
  • Bonfire, 8 p.m.
Homecoming

Saturday, Oct. 24

  • Veterans Kickoff Breakfast, 7 to 10 a.m.,
    American Legion Post #3, 204 W. Birch Ave.
    Recognition medals will be presented to NAU veterans in attendance. Hosted by the American Legion and Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force. Cost $5 per person. Contact Neil Goodell at (928) 523-3937 orNeil.Goodell@nau.edu.
  • Homecoming Parade, 11 a.m., downtown Flagstaff
    The perennial favorite starts at the corner of Elm and Beaver with the theme Flashback Jacks: America Through the Years.
    The Grand Marshal is Medal of Honor recipient Col. Jay Vargas,
    ’61 and ’01.
  • Tailgating and Football Game, Skydome
    The Lumberjacks take on the Bengals from Idaho State in a Big Sky Conference matchup. Kick-off is 3:05 p.m.
    Contact NAU Central Ticket Office at (928) 523-5661 or visit www4.nau.edu/cto.

A complete Homecoming schedule, including various college events and other reunions, is available online.