Our Town, Our Team: UAB Homecoming week filled with fun, tradition

A free comedy show, the annual Gurney Derby race and a parade led by mascots Blaze and Vulcan are among the Homecoming 2012 highlights at UAB.

UAB is gearing up for Homecoming 2012 with a week of activities Sept. 30-Oct. 6, featuring free student, alumni and fan events, a comedy show with the stars of “Reno 911!,” the university’s traditional Gurney Derby race and the annual parade through Birmingham’s Southside.

Homecoming_sThe fun-filled week — themed “Our Town. Our Team. #BLAZERNATION” — will culminate with the UAB vs. Southeastern Louisiana football game at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at Legion Field. On game day, Blazer Village will open at 11 a.m., with shuttles running from Blazer and Camp halls to Legion Field free for all UAB students and fans. The new winners of the Mr. and Ms. UAB scholarship competition, sponsored by the UAB National Alumni Society, will be announced during halftime.

Everyone is invited to the Homecoming Comedy Show with Cedric Yarbrough and Carlos Alazraqui, stars of the hit show “Reno 911!” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct, 2, at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. The show will open with UAB alumnus Terry Tee, an up-and- coming comedian who has performed at comedy clubs and universities across the Southeast. The show is free for all. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.

The week includes student events such as Paint the Town, Blazer Hustle, Pancakes and Karaoke, T-shirt Trade-In Day, Stompdown, Fall Festival and more. All of the university’s students, alumni, staff and faculty can participate in a building decoration competition, blood drive, spirit cookouts, Green and Gold Games, Blaze the Night and a nighttime pre-game “Blazer Beach” pool and patio party at the Campus Rec Center.

The ultimate Blazer challenge, the beloved Gurney Derby, will take place at noon Wed., Oct. 3.  Only the strong will survive as teams of four race hospital gurneys nearly the length of 13th Street South between 10th Avenue and University Boulevard and back again, to the screams and cheers of fans from across campus. Prizes will be awarded for first and second place, as well as Best Dressed Gurney, Most Creative Passenger and Dead Last.

Guitarist Eric Essix of UAB’s Alys Stephens Center will perform “American Jazz: An Evening with Eric Essix,” presented by the University Honors Program, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at the Spencer Honors House, 1190 10th Ave. South.

The annual Homecoming Parade, with nearly 20 student- and school-decorated floats, will happen at noon Friday, Oct. 5. The parade route starts at 14th Avenue South and travels down 10th Avenue South to 20th Street South, where it will return along University Boulevard. The rain date for the parade will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6.