For those coming to Williamsburg this weekend, the roads will be a bit more packed than usual.
William & Mary’s annual Homecoming celebrations are set to bring thousands of alumni, students and fans to the downtown area, according to the college’s website. Festivities will begin at 4:30 p.m. Friday with a parade on North Boundary Street though Richmond Road, Dillard Street and then down Ukrop Way to Kaplan Arena.
Vehicles will not be allowed to park on Richmond Road until 6 p.m. on Friday.
There will be a live broadcast of the parade with announcers Wade Minter and Kay Floyd. Minter, a 1997 graduate, is currently the announcer for the National Hockey League team, the Carolina Hurricanes. Floyd, class of 2005, is the director of the college’s Whole of Government Center of Excellence.
This year’s parade grand marshal will be Marshall Acuff, class of 1962, who has served as the university rector and president of the Alumni Association. This is an honorary position and typically filled by a distinguished alumni and friend of the college.
The live broadcast and parade judging will take place across from College Delly, next to Camm Hall. This is different from previous years because the Alumni House is closed for construction — registration for paid events during Homecoming Weekend will be in the Sadler Center.
Outside of the parade, the college will host a number of other events beginning Friday afternoon.
The Homecoming Academic Showcase, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in the Cohen Career Center, will allow guests to hear from dynamic student and faculty duos about new research and programming at the college.
At the same time, Tribe talks will occur in the Hospitality Suite at Zable Stadium. Discussions will include the future of William & Mary Athletics with student-athletes and staff, moderated by Samantha Huge, director of athletics.
Following the events, guests can attend Virginia Uncorked on Friday from 7 to 11 p.m. in the Sunken Garden. There will be live music, food trucks and tastings from Virginia breweries, vineyards and distilleries. Admission is $35 per person or $10 for non-tasting admission.
Events will continue Saturday with a Homecoming Author Breakfast with the William & Mary Libraries from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Swem Library. Author Carter Higgens, class of 2000, will be signing copies of her three picture books and her debut novel, A Rambler Steals Home.
Following the breakfast, guests can attend “Bold Moments: A Conversation with Jill Ellis ’88, L.H.D. ’16 and college President Katherine Rowe” from 10:30 a.m to noon in the Commonwealth Auditorium in the Sadler Center.
Ellis is a two-time World Cup champion and will discuss coaching philosophy and the role of athletics in creating thriving students in a rapidly changing world.
Guests with children can attend the Children’s Carnival Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. in the Sunken Garden. There will be inflatables, face painting and more.
One of the biggest events of the weekend will be the homecoming football game against James Madison University on Saturday starting at 3:30 p.m. at Zable Stadium.
Finally, there will be a Saturday Night Bash following the game from 9 to 11:30 p.m. in the Sunken Garden main tent. There will be music and snacks. Tickets are $40 per person.
Tickets will be available at each event.
For more information, visit William & Mary online.