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New events, long-held traditions part of Miami Homecoming Weekend

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The annual celebration is primarily led by the Miami University Alumni Association and the Miami University Student Foundation. Events will begin Thursday night with the annual Community Picnic in Uptown Park and continue through to Sunday afternoon.

The standout new event this year is the outdoor movie screening on Friday night. Alumni and students will gather at Yager Field at 8 p.m. to watch the 2013 film “Draft Day,” which was written by Class of 1996 Miami alum and Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Rajiv Joseph.

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Michelle Rosecrans, the Director of Alumni Engagement with the Miami University Alumni Association, said the screening would directly follow the two major Friday night traditions — the Love and Honor 5K and the Homecoming Huddle, which replaces the traditional homecoming parade.

“The movie was sort of a natural thing to come out of the other events. If we were going to be on the field for the Huddle and the end of the 5K, it was a great opportunity to have another big event out there,” Rosecrans said.

Saturday of Miami University’s Homecoming Weekend will be dominated by the RedHawks’ football season opener against Marshall University at 3 p.m.

The Love & Honor 5K begins and ends on the field of Yager Stadium. The run, hosted by the Student Foundation, raises funds for student scholarships and multiple charities. MUSF Executive chair Claire Coyne had managed the 5K run last year, which saw more student participation than in previous years.

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“It was really fun to see alumni and students come together and see the campus during the race,” Coyne said.

Saturday will be dominated by Miami’s football season opener against Marshall at 3 p.m. and the tailgates beforehand. The MUAA will be hosting an alumni tailgate before the game with gifts and a discounted ticket package for the game. Across the parking lot, MUSF will be hosting their first-ever student tailgate and will be giving away beach balls and pizza.

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The weekend will end with the Sunday Funday celebration in Uptown Park, an event which is only being held because Homecoming happens to fall on Labor Day weekend this year.

“We wanted to offer something fun for people to do if they were sticking around Oxford for another day,” Rosecrans said.

The MUAA-sponsored event will include a petting zoo with miniature animals, live music from a DJ, and multiple food stands and giveaways. Sunday Funday will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Other events this weekend include the annual Homecoming house decorating contest on Friday, which is open to both uptown houses and resident halls on campus, and a Young Alumni reunion after the game Saturday night.

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