This year’s homecoming festivities featured decades-themed events, lots of fun, and fierce competition as teams representing different campus organizations competed over the course of the week.
The teams were divided by size into two groups. The small teams were Delta Sigma Pi, SGA, RUF, Delta Sigma Theta, and the combination of Caribbean Student Association, African Student Association, and Organization of Black Students.
The big teams were Chi Omega; Alpha Kappa Alpha and Kappa Alpha; Wesley; Phi Mu, Pi Kappa Phi and Kappa Alpha Psi; RHA; and Alpha Gamma Delta, Zeta Phi Beta and Lambda Chi Alpha.
Homecoming week, which followed the theme “Beareling Through Time”, started off in the ’90s Sunday night with a special showing of “Halloweentown” in Willingham and a pumpkin carving competition in the historic quad just outside. Each team carved one pumpkin to be judged based on creativity, originality and overall appearance.
Students stabbed into pumpkins while others held up phones to provide light for their teammates. Guts were flying.
“You’re in the splash zone,” said senior class president Millie Smith, as she continued to carve her pumpkin.
The pumpking carving was “lovely . . . a great way to start homecoming,” she said.
The “Halloweentown” movie had some technical difficulties that led to a slightly early end, but everyone who went was still able to grab some fresh popcorn.
After the pumpkin carving, SGA took the lead for the small groups, and CO, KA and AKA for the big groups.
During the day on Monday, banners were put up and judged in the lobby of the CSC. The banners featured spoofs of classic movies and plenty of bear puns. Delta Sigma Pi won for the small groups, and CO, KA, and AKA for the big groups.
Monday night was the night of the costume party and contest. Creatures both scary and whimsical roamed the halls of Penfield. There were princesses, rock stars, and midway through the party a couple of mummies burst through the doors and ran straight for the candy table.
Even students who were not competing were able to dress up and had some fun.
“I like costumes and I like history. World War II history is cool, and this costume is easy,” said Rosie the Riveter, the costumed Emily Robertson.
For this contest, winners would be determined for the big and small groups, as well as for an individual category. The winners for the individual, small and big contests were Austin Connor, Delta Sigma Theta and Wesley, respectively.
“I’m a freakin’ ninja,” was all that Connor had to say. He had donned black ninja garb and Nike slides.
Roommates Rebecca Hall and Rebecca Fulton were dressed as Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World. The two said they had always watched Wayne’s World together and it felt great to win for their team.
After Monday’s competitions, Delta Sigma Pi pulled into the lead for the small groups, and CO, KA and AKA retained their position as first for the big groups.
Tuesday night was a break from the competition for a Pokemon stuffing event on the third floor of the CSC. The third floor was packed as students tried to get a chance to be one of the first to stuff either a pikachu, bulbasaur, charmander, squirtle or pokeball.
Wednesday was a time to test the knowledge of each competing group. During trivia night, teams competed in a charades style heads-up trivia.
Sorority chants and yells of support were heard as teammates imitated driving cars, doing karate, and various other actions. It was unclear whether some motions were in an attempt to demonstrate the clue, or just out of pure frustration.
Delta Sigma Pi won for the small groups, and PM, PKP and KAP for the big groups.
“We’ve been practicing [trivia] throughout the week,” said Thomas Bridgewater, one of the competitors for Delta Sigma Pi. “It’s great to represent the fraternity,” Bridgewater said.
After trivia night, Delta Sigma Pi was still in the lead for the small groups and Wesley pulled in the lead for the big groups.
Mercer village was blocked off from traffic Thursday night so that students could literally dance in the streets. Tyler Burnham, president of Mercer’s ballroom dancing club, led ’60s-style swing lessons to songs like “Love Potion No. 9,” “Let’s Twist Again” and “Come On, Let’s Go.”
“Triple step, triple step, rock step,” Burnham counted to the beat as students learned to either lead or follow. He said that he was very pleased with the turnout and talent of the participants that night.
SGA senator Pornchai Chantha was still dancing even after the music ended.
“That was awesome. I liked how they blocked off the village,” Chantha said.
Friday night was the big lip sync competition before the pep rally. Teams performed a variety of songs from every decade, from ’20s flappers songs to ’90s boy bands.
Backsteet Boys’ “I Want it That Way” was performed three times.
During a performance by CO, KA and AKA, the stage literally shook.
In between performances, audience members were invited to compete in mini lip sync competitions for prizes like movie tickets and T-shirts.
As soon as the competition ended the pep rally started. The band played, the football captains spoke, and the homecoming court was introduced. A fireworks display took place at the very end of the day’s festivities.
Game day Saturday was not without its own competition, aside from the game itself — a 50” flatscreen TV was up for grabs in a rock, paper, scissors tournament, the final round of which was held on the football field.
During halftime, the winners of homecoming were finally announced.
For the small groups, third place went to SGA; second to CSA, ASA and OBS; and first went to Delta Sigma Pi. For the big groups, third went to AGD, ZPB and LCA; second went to CO, KA and AKA; and first went to PM, PKP and KAP.
The homecoming king and queen were also announced. Jave Bjorkman was crowned king and Shadasia Wilcox was crowned queen.
Regardless of the homecoming winners, Mercer Bears came together for fun and festivities in a trip through time. They came together too in the game against ETSU for a win 21-13.
Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled the name of Tyler Burnham, Mercer’s ballroom dancing club president.