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ISSUE 118 VOL 4 PUBLISHED 10/8/2004

Homecoming gets lucky

By Clare Kennedy
Contributing Writer

Friday, October 8, 2004

Homecoming week, which began on Monday, Oct. 4, promises an increasing flurry of events following the "Luck o the Oles" theme. T-shirts and merchandise are being sold at Ole's Pub in Buntrock Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. However, by Wednesday, most of the merchandise was sold out except for larger sizes.

The week started with a round of cafeteria bingo, followed by a bonfire behind Thorson Monday evening. About 120 students came to partake in s'mores and the company of their fellow students.

On Tuesday, Homecoming continued with Casino Night, hosted in the Pause. The Pause was decorated with balloons and streamers.

Members of the student body tried their luck at gaming tables featuring Poker and Blackjack, as Student Activities Committee (SAC) members dealt. For anyone disinterested in cards, there were Vegas-style slot machines.

Most found the night of gambling to be one of the more charming aspects of the Irish theme.

"The gambling was very fun. This theme seems like a winner," Tyler Johnson '07 said.

Wednesday featured a green mug giveaway and root beer kegger at Ole's Pub from 1-3:30 p.m. That nights entertainment was a concert given by the country band Emerson Drive, which performed in the Pause.

Emerson Drive hails from Canada and is named after the Emerson Trail which crosses Alberta and joins the Alaskan Highway. Their hit "Fall into Me" went to number three on the Billboard Hot Country charts in 2003.

"We were looking for something different, something which hadn't been done before," SAC Coordinator Katie Rohach '05 said. "One thing to keep in mind is that it is nice to stay within a theme, but an event has to be able to stand on its own. We knew Emerson Drive would be popular."

On Thursday, members of the Ceilidh Society, a campus club devoted to Celtic culture, gave clogging lessons outside of Buntrock. The jigging lesson was followed by a lip-syncing contest in the Pause at 8 p.m. for cash prizes.

Friday's activities will include the showing of the movie "Ned Kelly" starring Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom in Viking at 7 p.m. The movie tells the story of Ned Kelly, a legendary Austrailian outlaw of Irish descent in the mid 1800s.

On Saturday morning there will be a 5K Homecoming Run/Walk at 8:15 a.m. on the north side of the Skoglund Field House.

The festivities will come to a climax on Saturday with a tailgating party, a "Luck o the Oles" barbeque and Homecoming football game against Carleton at Manitou Field. There will be a superfan T-shirt giveaway and a surprise superfan item. The tailgating party will offer face painting, and a chance to show Ole pride.

After the game will be a showing of "Far and Away," starring Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, in Viking Theater at 7 and 10 p.m. The Homecoming video dance in the Pause will start at 9 p.m.

Alumni and family will enjoy the multiple dinners, receptions, seminars, Homecoming activities, open classes and the MIAC Championship Golf Tournament, also hosted by St. Olaf this weekend.

While Homecoming is primarily put on by the SAC, other student organizations have events planned as well. Alpha Phi Omega will be hosting games and activities for families on Saturday. In addition, the Norseman Band, Manitou Singers, Viking Chorus, Companydance and St. Olaf Band will perform before the weekend winds down with a Jazz Brunch and chapel on Sunday.

SAC begins planning the event immediately after Homecoming ends each year, and the contracts, events and theme have been in the works since spring.

Though they had many ideas, Rohach maintains that "Luck o the Oles" was always their first choice: "We wanted to be really creative this year, and we wanted to do something different."

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