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The Color Guard leads the UT Homecoming Parade on November 12, 2021.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s 2022 Homecoming celebration begins Sunday, October 16, calling all current Vols and alumni to come together and celebrate the history, traditions and spirit of UT.

This year’s theme is Salute to Smokey, in honor of the forthcoming retirement of Smokey X and the arrival of new pup Smokey XI. More than 40 events are planned for the campus community, alumni and the public leading up to the Vols’ football game against the University of Tennessee, Martin, at noon on Saturday, October 22. Drew (’03) and Ellie (’05) Holcomb will serve as this year’s Homecoming Parade grand marshals. See the full schedule of events.

“In the spring, we invited students and staff to give us feedback to enhance the campus-wide homecoming experience. The result has been an incredible increase in interest from the campus community,” said Ashleigh Moyer, director of the Center for Student Engagement and this year’s Homecoming Committee chair. “With over 40 events on the schedule this year, there’s something for everyone in this year’s Homecoming calendar.”

Featured Events

  • Paint the Union, Sunday, October 16, 3 p.m., Student Union Auditorium. Competition hosted by the Student Union. Participating groups will be assigned a glass window section of the Student Union and judged on creativity and design in adherence to the theme, Salute to Smokey.
  • Chalk Ped Walk, Monday, October 17, 5 p.m., Johnson–Ward Pedestrian Walkway. Competition hosted by All Campus Events. Participating groups will create chalk designs to promote Homecoming week and the UT spirit.
  • Pup Rally, Monday, October 17, 5 p.m., Humanities Amphitheatre. Competition hosted by the Center for Student Engagement. Faculty, staff and students can register their four-legged friends for this UT spirit-themed pet costume contest.
  • Homecoming Bonfire, Thursday, October 20, 7 p.m., Fiji Island. Hosted by the Student Government Association. Campus community members and alumni are welcome to grab a slice of pizza and a s’more and enjoy a night of music on Rocky Top with fellow Volunteers.
  • Southeastern Stomp Fest, Friday, October 21, 7 p.m., Student Union Auditorium. A signature Homecoming event, Stomp Fest is an opportunity for the student body, alumni and the Knoxville community to enjoy high-energy stepping performances by National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities and sororities.
  • Alumni Homecoming Tailgate, Saturday, October 22, beginning three hours before kickoff, Student Union Plaza. Attendees can enjoy food and beverages, music, special games for little Vols, and remarks from grand marshals the Holcombs. The event is $30 per person for adults, $15 per child 10–17 years, and free for children 9 years and younger. See the full schedule of events open to alumni.

Parade and Little Vol Walk

The annual Homecoming Parade will take place at 4 p.m. on Friday, October 21. The parade starts on Volunteer Boulevard across from the LaPorte Track and Field Stadium. The procession will head north, passing Circle Park, where the judging will take place, and end as it passes the Joe Johnson and John Ward Pedestrian Mall. View the parade map.

The parade brings together UT and the city of Knoxville, showcasing student organizations and community floats. This year’s grand marshals are Drew Holcomb, leader of the Americana group Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, and his wife, Ellie, singer-songwriter and author. Children ages 10 and under are invited to participate in the parade’s Little Vol Walk, where they can ride in strollers, walk or ride tricycles. Advance registration is encouraged.


Maggie Palmer (865-974-3993,

Erica Estep (865-974-2225,