Emily Glazer, For The Miami Student

It’s that time of year again. The cooler weather, house decorations and influx of alumni can only mean one thing. That’s right, Redhawks, it’s homecoming week in Oxford.

This year’s homecoming week is filled with events for students to participate in, beginning with a dessert reception for campus leaders. Team captains, members of ASG, Pan-Hellenic, Program Board and other well-known student organizations were invited.

“The dessert is new this year because we really wanted to do something to show appreciation to student leaders on campus,” said Brianna Picciuto, executive director of Campus Activities Council (CAC).

The week will continue with a free bonfire hosted by the Residence Hall Association (RHA). The bonfire will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday behind Benton Hall.

“We will have kettle corn, hot dogs, popcorn, s’mores, apples and caramel and other toppings, candy, candy corn, hot cider and hot chocolate,” Rose Kaplan, campus-wide program director for RHA, said.

Wednesday, the events continue with some friendly flag football competition at 7 p.m. at Yager Stadium. Flag football was a new event last year, and this year, there are two separate leagues: one for girls and one for boys and co-eds.

“This year we have 10 girls teams and 16 guys or co-ed teams,” said Connor Billing, co-chair for the 2011 homecoming committee. “Girls teams are mostly sororities and it is mostly fraternities and other organizations in the co-ed league.”

There is no event Thursday night, in an effort to get as much support as possible at the hockey game vs. Lake Superior State.

Friday, students will have the opportunity to vote for Homecoming King and Queen at Red Fest.

The fest will be from 12-4 p.m. on the Roudebush Hall lawn, and will include free food from Skipper’s Pub and inflatable festival games.

The event that showcases RedHawk pride the most is the homecoming parade, which will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday uptown and end at Yager Stadium, where the football team takes on Buffalo at 3:30 p.m.

“Something new this year for the parade is you can either enter as a float or a walking entry,” Picciuto said.

The list of organizations participating in the parade includes the marching band, fraternities, sororities, other campus organizations and most interestingly, a Miami custodian.

Perhaps it is the exciting events that bring alumni back each year.

Ray Mock, executive director of alumni associations, said every hotel room in the city is already full.

“We invite alumni every year to return to campus, reconnect with student organizations, take part in the parade and attend games,” Mock said.

Joe Gieringer, junior and Delta Tau Delta member, is excited to welcome back the fraternity’s alumni, including his father.

“I think it’s the spirit that makes homecoming memorable,” Gieringer said. “Everybody gets really excited for it.”

Gieringer’s sentiment is echoed by Alanah Raykovich, co-chair of the Homecoming Committee.

“We want to make it a week where students and faculty and alumni can come together,” she said. “It’s to remind us why we love Miami so much.”