Sun Devils new and old will come together Saturday for this year's big homecoming event.
The theme, "Sun Devil Homecoming 2011: Past. Present. Future," will commemorate all that has been, is, and will be of Arizona State University before the football team's big game against the Colorado Buffalo Bills.
"This homecoming we are celebrating the past alumni of ASU, the present Sun Devils, and future of what ASU will become," said Kelsey Higgins, Tempe Homecoming director.
Chauncey Milbrandt, Pan Campus Homecoming director, said PAB, an organization which serves all four ASU campuses, began planning and preparing for homecoming in the spring.
A parade will kick off the celebration at 11:30 a.m. with Frank Kush as its grand marshal. Kush, a College Football Hall of Fame inductee in 1995, was the head football coach of the Sun Devils from 1958 to 1979. He will be accompanied by his former players, as well.
About 80 floats created by groups and campus organizations will be featured, beginning at University Drive and McAllister Avenue, as they make their way to University Drive and College Avenue where the parade will end. Marching along with them will be the ASU band and other community members.
Shortly after the parade will be a block party on the lawn of Old Main, the second oldest building at ASU, around 12:30 p.m. It will feature 65 tents sponsored by various ASU colleges and departments, along with plenty of food, live music, and interactive activities. A highlight includes an autograph signing of at least 200 Sun Devil football legends.
The block party is especially an all-ages event, providing entertainment for children, as well. KAET's Curious George is set to make a special appearance at the KidZone, where they can have fun at the video game truck, in bounce houses, play carnival games, watch live entertainment on a stage, and more.
At 3 p.m., the ASU Sun Devil football team will square up against the Colorado Buffalo Bills in Sun Devil Stadium.
Students have had a head start celebrating this homecoming with a week's worth of events that started Monday night with a comedy show featuring the Wayans Brothers.
Although ASU's Programming and Activities Board played an instrumental role in orchestrating the week's happenings and Saturday's event, they've had a lot of help from students, volunteers and faculty, Higgins said.
She also said she's most excited for the atmosphere and the pride that everyone will be displaying on Saturday. "It is the best day to be a Sun Devil," Higgins said.
To learn more about ASU's homecoming, visit homecoming.asu.edu.
Purchase tickets for the football game in person at the Sun Devil Ticket Office or call (480) 727-0000.
• Ashley Haines is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a sophomore at Arizona State University.