It’s that time of year again – the 101st celebration of USD’s homecoming has arrived.
For the Dakota Days committee, it’s been a long time coming.
Responsible for the planning and execution all homecoming week activities, the new committee begins planning the next celebration less than six months after the previous one.
“It was early spring last year, end of February is when everyone was chosen,” senior Erika Arpan, the committees’s internal overall co-chair, said.
Once the 2015 committee was formed, the group began developing a theme and keeping students excited for the week-long celebration after the memorable 100-year mark last year.
“Celebrating the next century,” is this year’s theme and mantra, in honor of D-Days entering a new century and era.
Junior Diego Marquez, coronation chair of the committee for the second year in a row, said the week’s events should be memorable and enjoyable because of the immense amount of effort invested by the committee.
“We tried to improve it every year. We are pretty prepared for this week,” he said. “We’ve been working on this for almost half a year.”
Homecoming planning and coordination extended into the summer months, too, both Marquez and Arpan said.
Marquez’s favorite event, royalty reveal, is a tradition that begins at the start of the week. Students voted Monday and Tuesday for the top 14 candidates, which were revealed at last night’s ‘Yotes Got Talent event in Aalfs Auditorium.
Voting will re-open Thursday at 10 a.m. and close Friday at 6 p.m. for the selection of the final candidates, Marquez said.
The Dakota Days committee has a lot in store for the week, from fun activities to events that remind the USD community of its history.
Junior Lauren Kulwicki, one of the event co-chairs, said D-Days is a way to get students filled with school spirit.
“We want to get people excited,” she said.
For Kulwicki, joining the Dakota Days Committee was not only something to do, but also a way to encourage students to celebrate in a safer way than years past.
“I wanted to make a difference,” she said. “I wanted to take the focus away from drinking and promote community and student involvements. That’s why the Vermtown Bash is so big.”
The Bash, which starts tonight at 5 p.m., will have inflatables, food and games for the community to enjoy, which both student organizations and Vermillion residents took part in planning.
A street dance will start at 9 p.m. as a way to celebrate the week, while taking the focus off of excessive drinking.
“I think we are here to support USD. All of the events are free and it’s just a really fun experience,” Marquez said, encouraging students to attend events throughout the week.