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Students in the 2016 Homecoming Parade - Photos by Kellie Crye Ward

UT’s Homecoming celebration kicks off Sunday with the theme “Sweet as Soda Pop,” paying homage to the university’s unofficial fight song “Rocky Top.”

More than 30 events are planned, culminating with the Vols football game against the University of North Carolina at Charlotte 49ers at 4 p.m. Saturday, November 3.

See the full schedule of events.

Traditions old and new

This year’s celebration will offer a few new events for students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

On Monday, the Center for Student Engagement will host the Homecoming Carnival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Humanities and Social Sciences Building Plaza. The event will include a photo booth, virtual roller coaster, carnival games, and food options including Dale’s Fried Pies, funnel cakes, and corn dogs.

Also on Thursday, Volunteers will serve the community during “A Day of Service with the Vols.” Participants will clean up the Cumberland Avenue area from 2 to 4 p.m. with a tailgate to follow in partnership with the Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association.

The Student Government Association will host its first SGA Alumni Homecoming Weekend to celebrate 99 years of the campus organization. Former members of the organization will return to campus for an alumni dinner and tailgate.

On Saturday, alumni can experience the Tennessee Tailgate, a new Homecoming tradition, at the Tyson Alumni Center. Attendees can meet former UT football player Inky Johnson, enjoy food and beverages, and listen to music. There will be special games and fun for children including food trucks, balloon art, face painting, and coloring. The event is $15 per person for adults who register beforehand and $20 at the door. Children 17 and under are free.


The annual Homecoming parade begins at 4 p.m. Friday, November 2. The parade steps off at Circle Park and will head north on Volunteer Boulevard before turning left onto Cumberland Avenue. The parade showcases student organization floats and includes the ninth annual Little Vol Walk, featuring children ages 10 and younger riding on tricycles and in decorated wagons and strollers. The grand marshal for the parade is Inky Johnson.

Media coverage: WBIR, Nov. 2; WBIR, Nov. 2; WBIR, Nov. 2; WBIR, Katie Inman, Nov. 3; WATE, Elizabeth Kuebel, Nov. 3


Katherine Saxon (865-974-8365,