James Jones, of Atlanta's Peachtree Rides, assembles the candy factory concession stand in the J.C. Reese parking lot on ASU campus Thursday in preparation for the Homecoming Fairgrounds at ASU festivities starting Friday 5 p.m.-midnight and Saturday 2 p.m.-6 p.m. (Oct. 18, 2012)
ALBANY, Ga. — Albany State University's Homecoming weekend begins in earnest today as alumni and friends gather for a celebration of all things Blue and Gold.
While Saturday's game with Clark Atlanta is the focal point for many, it's just one of the reasons that this is a special time for the University and its friends.
ASU HOMECOMING SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
National Alumni Association Golf Tournament: 8 a.m., Doublegate Country Club
Convocation: 10 a.m.-noon, HPER Gymnasium
Alumni Homecoming Luncheon: Noon, L. Orene Hall Building. Admission: $25.
Pep Rally: 1 p.m.-3 p.m., Pedestrian Mall. R.I.P Clark Atlanta Panthers- Funeral
Dean's Reception: 6 p.m., ASU Student Center Ballroom
If I could Turn Back The Hands of Time Fish Fry: 9 p.m., Hampton Inn. Admission: $12
Fairgrounds at ASU: 5 p.m.-midnight, JC Reese Parking Lot. One-day pass, $10; two-day pass, $15. Tickets for games and food sold separately.
Homecoming Parade: 9 a.m., Pine Avenue, downtown Albany
Homecoming Game: 2 p.m., ASU Coliseum. Albany State University vs. Clark Atlanta. Admission: $25, adults; $10, children K-12
Fairgrounds at ASU: 2 p.m.-6 p.m., JC Reese Parking Lot. One-day pass, $10; two-day pass, $15. Tickets for games and food sold separately.
Homecoming Step Show 2012: 7:30 p.m., HPER Gymnasium. Hosted By: Jermaine “FunnyMaine” Johnson and DJ Nix in the Mix. Doors open 7 p.m. Admission: advance, $15; door, $20
If I Could Turn Back The Hands of Time Celebration Dance: 10 p.m., Albany Civic Center. Admission: $25
"This is a time to re-establish relationships, rededicate myself to my alma mater and refresh myself," ASU National Alumni President Joycia Ricks said Thursday. "It's really a time of fun and remembrance for all of us."
Eric Green of Albany did not attend ASU, but his daughter did. He's been attending ASU football games for more than a decade. Work will prevent him from cheering on the Rams in person Saturday, but he won't miss the tailgating.
"I'll be there for the tailgate," Green said. "It's a great time to celebrate and see people you haven't seen in a long time. There is a lot of camaraderie. I've been going to games consistently for 12 years, but it is the atmosphere outside of the game that keeps me coming back."
Jim Johnson, who attended then ASU for a year, has gathered at the homecoming game with friends for five straight years. It is one of the high points of the year for him.
"We've been getting together at the homecoming game for a while now," Johnson said. "We see each other in town, but there's nothing like cooking some ribs and chicken, and eating while waiting for the game ... and watching the pretty girls walk by."
Ricks welcomes people like Green and Johnson.
"We absolutely welcome the support of all alumni and friends of Albany State University," Ricks said. "We need the support from all segments of society. We can push forward better with that support."
While not a huge fan of football, Ricks says she is looking forward to Saturday morning's Homecoming parade.
"I hope to be able to watch the parade in its entirety this time," Ricks said.