Have a big blast at Rhody Homecoming Oct. 17-18

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Come enjoy Rhodyville for games, food, fun

KINGSTON, R.I. – September 10, 2008 – Are you ready for some fireworks, football and fine arts? Then join the University of Rhode Island’s Homecoming 2008 festivities Oct. 17 through 18 on the Kingston Campus.

“Last year, we had one of most exciting and successful Homecoming celebrations in several years,” said URI Homecoming Committee Chair Gina Simonelli, assistant director of Alumni Relations. “We had a record student turnout, and a new pre-game program called Rhodyville, a tent village featuring food, games and activities. There was something for everyone, our alumni, students, faculty, staff and area residents.”

It all starts Friday evening, Oct. 17 in Keaney Gym with the homecoming bonfire outside Keaney Gym at 9 p.m. Then at 9:30 the skies over the Kingston Plains will light up with a fireworks display behind the Mackal Field House. Free parking is available in the Keaney and Mackal lots. The bonfire and fireworks are free and open to the public.

“We’d love to see families from our neighboring communities join the URI community for a fun night as we kick off Homecoming 2008,” Simonelli said. “Being a part of the wonderful South County community is what makes URI so special.”

On Saturday, Oct. 18, lace up your running shoes for the 8th Annual 5K Road Race at 9 a.m. All runners and walkers are welcome. The new 5K loop, which has been certified by United States of America Track & Field Association, will take participants around the Kingston Campus, starting and ending at Mackal Field House. Race proceeds will benefit the Rhody the Ram Scholarship.

The first 100 individuals to register will receive a 2008 Homecoming 5K T-shirt. Prizes will be given to the male and female finishers in the following categories: top overall finisher, top finisher in each age division, top URI alumnus, top URI student and youths, 18 and under.

Registration fees are: adults, $18 and $22 on race day; students, $8 and $10 on race day. Student ticket package includes race registration, admission to Rhodyville and food voucher for $14.

Rhodyville opens at 10 a.m. in front of Keaney Gymnasium and the Tootell Physical Education Center. Alumni affinity groups, student groups and friends of the University are invited to reserve a tent at Rhodyville. There will be prizes for the best decorations, best activity and best sign. Sponsored Rhodyville activities include a bounce house and games for kids, balloon sculptures and more.

Then it’s time for football with the 2008 edition of the Rams as they take on CAA Football foe Villanova at noon. With the slogan, “New Coach, New Look, New Era,” Rhody plays an exciting, wide-open style of football sure to put points on the board.

New head coach Darren Rizzi, a former All-American during his playing days in Kingston, is hoping for a big, loud crowd on Homecoming Day.

“Homecoming was always one of the biggest games of the year when I was a player,” Rizzi said. “This year, as head coach, it has an even greater meaning to myself, the team and the University as a whole.”

If you are looking to put some art in your Homecoming weekend, join URI Theatre for its production of Small Tragedy by Craig Lucas, which captured the Obie Award (New York’s Best Off-Broadway Play in 2002). The play, set first in Cambridge and then Boston and finally New York City, follows six young people, three men and three women, as they rehearse an adaptation of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex discussing justice, denial and the acceptance of responsibility. From the mid to late 1990’s they become friends and lovers as the audience experiences how the themes of Greek tragedy merge with some truths about the Bosnian War. Showtimes at the Will Theatre are Friday, Oct. 17 and Saturday, October 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $14 for general admission, $10 for senior citizens, URI faculty and staff and $8 for students.

For a complete list of homecoming activities, visit the web at www.advance.uri.edu/homecoming.