The leaves are turning. The bite of fall is in the air. And University of Wisconsin-Stout Blue Devils, past and present, are anticipating the approach of homecoming – a time to celebrate their university pride and gather as a campus family.
UW-Stout homecoming week begins Monday, Oct. 11, culminating with the traditional football game at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, at Williams Stadium, when the Blue Devils face UW-Stevens Point.
Before the big game, alumni can join the Alumni Association for a free Breakfast at the Buck, 8 to 11 a.m., at the Silver Dollar Saloon on Main Street. Registration is required.
In-person homecoming events, including the parade, were canceled last year because of COVID. While there will be no parade again this year, it is expected to be back in 2022.
But UW-Stout homecoming is more than just a one-day celebration. Blue Devils are invited to Bluetober, a month full of events to bring the community together.
UW-Stout gear is available at Stoutfitters campus bookstore, and Press Stout to Play homecoming T-shirts are on sale in the Memorial Student Center. Various downtown shops will offer homecoming day discounts. And celebrants can connect on social media by using #UWStout and #Bluetober2021.
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Last year, Bluetober was born out of the inability to come together in person for homecoming. It has become an event hub for the UW-Stout family and Menomonie community. UW-Stout’s Social Media Manager Rachel Hallgrimson likes to bring people together and serves on the homecoming committee.
“I love planning things where people have a good time. Bluetober and homecoming aim to do that for the Stout family,” she said. “I like to call it the Stout family reunion, since the goal is to be able to invite anyone – students, alumni and community members.”
The Bluetober Virtual Kickoff, 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7, will feature UW-Stout legends, campus pranks, Blaze the Blue Devil and mascots who came before. Registration is required to attend the Zoom meeting.
Blue Devil Productions is partnering with campus areas to host free community Bluetober events. Students can get involved by logging onto CONNECT or checking out the special Blue Devil Productions events.
Everyone is invited to celebrate:
• Banner Competition begins, Monday, Oct. 11: Student teams will display their homecoming banners in the student center.
• Penny Wars begins, Monday, Oct. 11: Campus organizations will compete to see who’s the favorite, as supporters fill buckets in the student center. All proceeds go to the Student Emergency Fund.
• Celebrate 70% with Us!, 2 to 3:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 11: UW-Stout has reached 70% student vaccination rate. UW System President Tommy Thompson and Chancellor Katherine Frank will give out ice cream at the student center amphitheater.
• Soapbox Derby, 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 12: Cheer on teams as they race their soapbox cars at Wilson and 2nd Avenue in Menomonie.
• Tabletop Game Night, 3 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13: Stop by and play some games at the Terrace in the student center.
• Saving Throw Live, 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13: Join the Californian live theater group in an improv-filled, hilarious journey to parts unknown, in the student center Great Hall.
• Chalking Competition, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14: Pick up chalk from the Involvement Center Desk and chalk up a square outside the student center. Judging will take place at 5 p.m., and the winning design will be featured on BDP and campus social media. In the event of rain, the contest will be on Friday.
• TeawhYB with Miles Blvd, 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14: A performance by the local hip-hop artist is free and open to all at the Terrace in the student center.
The Bluetober Virtual Alumni Event, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21, will feature a presentation about famous UW-Stout visitors and a virtual tour of Bowman Hall Clock Tower, with University Archivist Heather Stecklein. Registration is required.
The homecoming committee plans to evolve Bluetober more over the years, inviting more areas of campus to plan events. “As we get the Bluetober ball rolling, it will be nice to have events centered around all different interests – art, literature, entertainment. The list could go on,” Hallgrimson said.
Let’s Glow Blue Devil Run
Runners who prefer to be out after dark are in for a treat. The 17th annual homecoming race is at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14, the first homecoming race to be held at night.
Let's Glow Blue Devil Run is a two-mile fun run/walk, winding through campus. It is open to everyone. Cost to register is $15. Online registration closes Thursday, Oct. 13, at midnight. Runners may also register in person before the race or at the Urec Office in the Sports and Fitness Center.
“We are hoping for about 100 people to turn out for the event,” said Mackenzie Stutzman, associate director of recreation. “We’re really excited about the reimagined theme around the glow in the dark aspect.”
Packet pickup and race-day registration are at 6:30 p.m. outside the Sports and Fitness Center. T-shirts will be available for purchase at the race. All proceeds go to the Urec Scholarship Fund for students.
The run is sponsored by Kwik Trip, WESTconsin Credit Union and Subway, which will provide post-race snacks.