Former Bobcats are digging deep in their closets to bring out their best green and white in anticipation of Ohio University’s Homecoming celebration next weekend.

This year’s extravaganza was given the theme Beyond the Bricks and features a few new events.

“Beyond the Bricks was selected as this year’s Homecoming theme to move beyond the physical artifacts of the Ohio (University) experience. Beyond the Bricks encourages the celebration of memories, people, and feelings associated with your time in the Ohio University community,” states the OU Alumni Association’s website.

Cristie Gryszka, director of outreach and engagement in the OU alumni relations office, said there are two new events added to the action-packed homecoming weekend. The first is Rock the Block outdoor concert to be held on Union Street Friday evening between Court and College Streets. The mini-block party will feature performances by Dave Rave, Shallowtail and the Marching 110 percussionists.

Gryszka said Ohio Brew Week will conduct a beer garden at the event with around 10 craft beers that are associated with Ohio University. She said some of the brews are made by OU professors, particularly chemists and engineers who use science to achieve the desired taste. Rock the Block will be held from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and that section of Union Street will be closed to vehicular traffic during the event.

During the Rock the Block event, prizes will be raffled off including a homecoming weekend getaway for Homecoming 2012.

Also new this year is “OH, I dO,” which is a vow renewal ceremony for the Bobcat love birds. Former Bobcats will have the opportunity to renew their marriage vows at 18:04 (6:04 p.m.) on Saturday at Galbreath Chapel. Gryszka said the time was selected to match OU’s founding date of 1804.

In addition to the new events will be the old time favorites such as the OU Homecoming Parade on Saturday at 10 a.m. on Court Street. Free coffee, cocoa and other hot beverages will be offered for free during Alumni Coffee Hour beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Baker University Front Room coffeehouse.

On Friday, alumni can participate in the Yell Like Hell Pep Rally at the Bicentennial Park from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

According to Gryszka, historic hayrides at The Ridges are sold out for the third year in a row. The rides will be held Friday and Saturday.

The annual Alumni Awards Gala at Baker University Center Ballroom will be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday. The event will honor esteemed alumni and one honorary alumnus. The alumni awardees will also be recognized during the halftime show of the OU vs. Ball State football game on Saturday. The game starts at 3:30 p.m. at Peden Stadium.

Prior to Saturday’s football game will be the pre-game Bobcat Bash from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the first floor and Atrium Café in Grover Center.

Those interested in even more sports action following the football game can catch the Ohio volleyball team face Toledo at 6 p.m. with the OU Alumni Varsity Band performing.

For full Homecoming event information, visit www.ohioalumni.org/homecoming.

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