Southern Arkansas University will celebrate its 2020 homecoming October 19-24, but it will look a bit different than years past.  The University has tagged this year’s festivities “Not Your Average Homecoming” because of the need to celebrate within the current COVID boundaries.

According to a press release, “the obvious difference is there won’t be a football game,” said Steve Browning, director of athletics. “We’ve won 12 straight homecoming games and 13 of our past 14. So to not have an opportunity to potentially add to that impressive streak is disappointing, but we are still excited to be able to celebrate homecoming. With all of the virtual events and interactions that the university has planned with students and alumni, it is definitely something to look forward to.”

Most of the events planned for the week are virtual or require specific times for small group participation, but many of the Mulerider homecoming traditions will continue this year, just in a different format.

The homecoming court will be announced later this week with the Homecoming Queen and King being crowned at a coronation event to be live-streamed on Thursday evening, October 22. Students will also be able to participate in street painting, a drive-in movie, and the traditional Muleshoe Hunt.

A full week of activities is also planned for SAU Alumni.

“We look forward to homecoming each year because it brings so many alumni to campus,” said Megan McCurdy, director of alumni relations. “This year is not your average homecoming. However, we have planned several fun events this year that our alumni can enjoy from home since we cannot gather in person.”

McCurdy explained alumni can participate in the shoebox homecoming float competition, join a Facebook Live update with Dr. Berry, compete in a virtual trivia night as well as be a part of the annual Golden Rider Reunion, which honors SAU Alumni on the 50th anniversary of their graduation.

“The Class of 1970 will be celebrated this year during a special Zoom gathering,” McCurdy explained. “I wish we could celebrate with our traditional brunch at the Alumni Center, but connecting this way will give us an opportunity to see fellow Muleriders who may not have been able to join us on campus.”

In conjunction with homecoming week, SAU’s Mulerider Club is hosting an invitational golf tournament, sponsored by Murphy USA. The event will be held Friday, October 23, at Mystic Creek Golf Club in El Dorado. SAU’s rodeo will also take place during the homecoming festivities. It will be held on October 22-24 at Story Arena.

“COVID has altered so much of what we have been able to do on campus this semester,” said Dr. Trey Berry, SAU president. “But, we wanted to still be able to have a homecoming with our students and alumni, so we have found different ways to celebrate. It is certainly not your average homecoming, but it will be one we all remember!”

For information on all of the events scheduled for SAU’s Homecoming Week, visit https://web.saumag.edu/homecoming/. Please note that participation in most events will be virtual or under specific social-distancing guidelines.