October 14-16, 2021#BaylorHomecoming

Extravaganza, Pep Rally and Bonfire

October 15
Time: 6:00 p.m.

Extravaganza begins a night of celebration brought to life with all kinds of family-friendly activities, carnival games, some of our favorite Waco food trucks and more.

The Pep Rally begins at approximately 9:00 p.m. and features the Golden Wave Marching Band, Spirit Squads, remarks from key leaders, a presentation of the winners of the student-created floats, and a show of school spirit that you will not want to miss!

The Bonfire will begin at approximately 9:45 p.m. Built by the freshman class under the supervision of Baylor’s Chamber of Commerce, the bonfire will be lit by four torchbearers representing each Baylor undergraduate class. A part of Homecoming since it began in 1909, the bonfire is a tradition that unites the Baylor Family and welcomes alumni and friends back home.

History

In 1946, freshmen held guard during the five nights preceding the game to prevent the Aggies from painting the campus or kidnapping Chita, the new bear mascot. Bonfires were lit each night in different strategic locations, with the Friday night blaze serving as the climax.

Over time, the barricade program's focus narrowed to protecting the main bonfire pile. And at some point, required kissing became a central security measure. A Lariat article from 1974 describes the custom: "The procedure for guarding the campus is to stop each car as it passes through campus. If a Baylor student or ex-student will not kiss his date, his date must kiss each keeper of the barricade."

The barricade tradition ended in the 1980s (though kissing reportedly continues to be practiced around campus). But while the barricades have disappeared, the Friday night bonfire tradition has grown even stronger. As the campus has expanded over the years, the fire has been frequently relocated, from the heart of campus to the Intramural Fields to the Ferrell Center and a few years ago back to the heart of campus.

Of course, much pomp and circumstance precedes the lighting of the bonfire, including a pep rally, motivational speeches, and even activities planned for the whole family.

For more information, contact Corban Sorrells.