An in Depth Look at UCF Homecoming
A very common tradition amongst colleges and universities in America is Homecoming, and it is something everyone should experience at least once while they are in college. On UCF’s campus, Homecoming is one of the most eventful and fun times throughout the whole school year! This year, Homecoming is October 9th through October 15th, and during this week there are several events that SGA and the university set up to give students an amazing experience.
What are some of the events?
Starting Homecoming week off on Monday, is Comedy Knight which is held at 8 p.m. in the CFE Arena on campus. Every year the school hosts a different comedian for the event and this year we are happy to host Nick Swardson and Marina Franklin. Before this event, students are able to obtain one free ticket at a ticket distribution, usually held the week beforehand, or you can buy a ticket for $25 either through the CFE Arena Box Office or through Ticketmaster.
Tuesday is an eventful day, with Coin Wars at 11 a.m. which is an event where Homecoming teams compete to raise the most “silver” coins, including nickels, dimes and quarters. If the teams get dollar bills they are counted negatively towards their points, and pennies are neutral. All proceeds benefit Knight-Thon, which is UCF’s annual dance marathon. Coin Wars is held on the Student Union patio.
Then, in the evening at the CFE Arena, Homecoming hosts Movie Knight! This year the movie they are screening is Finding Dory. Admission to this event is free, and usually there’s also free food and popcorn to snack on while you watch the movie with your friends.
Wednesday (k)night, is UCF Homecomings newest event which is Knights Got Talent. While you can no longer audition for this year’s talent show, you can be on the lookout for next year’s talent show auditions which should be held in August or September. At this event you can come out and see your fellow Knights perform with the same full stage production crew as Concert Knight! Free limited edition Knights Got Talent t-shirts will also be distributed at this event, on a first come first serve basis. Come early and get your own shirt and support UCF’s talent!
Every year UCF also hosts a well-known or popular artist during Concert Knight. This year, on Thursday October 13th, we are excited to have Ludacris performing! His opening act also includes Ty Dolla $ign. Tickets are free for students and also provided at a discount rate for alumni. Concert Knight is held at the CFE Arena, and doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert starts at 8 p.m.
What about Spirit Splash?
You may know the UCF Reflecting Pond as a place to hang out between classes, a quiet spot to study in the afternoons, or maybe you just know it as the pond in front of the Library that you walk past on your way to class. The Reflecting Pond is a huge part of the UCF Campus aesthetic. During the year, students aren’t allowed into the fountain but Spirit Splash is the one exception. Take advantage of the opportunity!
Spirit Splash made its debut in 1995, and while the numbers for the first spirit splash were never recorded, there were an estimated 15,000 to 17,000 students who attended spirit splash in 2014. In 2011, Spirit Splash received the Best Campus Tradition award from the National Association for Campus Activities. While the event starts at 12 p.m., students will line up hours beforehand to get their hands on the exclusive and limited Spirit Splash T-shirts that are unique each year. There are four booths set up around the 4 corners of the pond, and students are advised to line up early to guarantee a spot to get a shirt!
During the event itself, students will wait around the pond in anticipation for the countdown to get into the pond. While students wait, they usually mingle, and there are performances in front of Millican Hall with live music. Finally, the countdown begins and you feel the exhilaration in the air as everyone cheers and runs into the water. You can watch a recap of Spirit Splash 2015 here:
The overall goal of the event is to obtain the rare rubber ducks. Each year has a new and unique duck, and while no one knows how or when the duck tradition started they have become prized by students and are seen almost as Spirit Splash trophies. Because they are so rare, students can often find them sold on eBay after the event sometimes going for hundreds of dollars. Why are they so prized? They’re just another part of UCF tradition, and since there are so few thrown out during spirit splash it’s both lucky and prized to get one. It is also a great token to keep to remember your amazing Homecoming week!
The event overall is so full of School Spirit, it’s a way to really feel like a Knight and see the connection that all Knights have together. Such a large variety of students come to this event and all come together to fully experience what UCF has to offer. Its seen by many students as a young, and fun tradition, and an amazing experience to have during their times at UCF. Even if you can’t attend the event, for the last few years Spirit Splash has also been live-streamed online. So, even if students can’t experience the event for themselves, or maybe if they are nervous for their first time, they can always watch from home or anywhere.
While it isn’t the last event of the week, many students see it as a relaxing event especially after Spirit Splash. On Friday night, at Memory Mall, students can lay out their blankets, sit back, and relax, while enjoying the Homecoming Fireworks. A free show to end the hectic week of events! Festivities start at 7:30 p.m. and the fireworks start at 9 p.m.
UCF Homecoming finishes off with one of the highlights of the season, a home game, UCF Knights vs Temple University Owls. During halftime, the UCF Homecoming King and Queen are also crowned. Come out and support your fellow Knights during the last event of Homecoming! Global UCF will begin tailgating before the game at 2pm. Meet us in front of the Global UCF building then!
How to get involved in Homecoming?
If you really want to be involved in planning the event and setting up you can join Homecoming committee, or apply to be a volunteer during the week and help out with events. We definitely recommend you go out and try new things and experience everything your school has to offer! Homecoming is a great way to show off your school spirit, even if it’s wearing a spirit splash shirt, or wearing your team’s colors with face paint at the football game!
If you want to have a memorable time, and have some fun or amazing stories to tell your friends back at home then get involved with Homecoming and go to the events! Homecoming is made for the students, and its meant to be energetic and fun for everyone, so go out and have fun! We’ll see you there!