At first, it just feels like restlessness or an unusual anxiousness. You find yourself distracted in class or at work. Anticipation keeps you from sleeping. Normal food loses its taste while hot dogs and nachos become more appealing.
So begins the season for what Amy Carothers calls Blue Flu — an outbreak of school spirit that precedes the annual homecoming football game.
“It’s the same concept as the flu but more fun than the actual flu,” says Carothers, University alumni relations director.
The only cure, she says, is to wear blue attire and attend some of the many University of Nevada homecoming events: the Blue Flu Barbeque, the Homecoming Parade or the Homecoming football game: Fresno State versus Nevada on Saturday, Oct. 6.
A new homecoming event, the Blue Flu Barbeque (Friday, Oct. 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the University Quad) aims to bring together the Reno-Sparks community, especially University alumni.
“More than 50 percent of our alums live in northern Nevada,” Carothers says. “We’ve invited them all up to the Blue Flu Barbeque to get the community back on to campus. We want them to see the energy and excitement of what’s going on.”
More than 70 local businesses have joined the effort, encouraging their employees to wear blue on that day.
Meanwhile, Eli Reilly, ASUN programming director, says Saturday’s Homecoming Parade has doubled in the amount of groups participating.
“It's a good year for programming, people really got into it this year,” he says. “We only had 11 floats in the parade last year. This year we have 24.”
Reilly has one word for what he hopes the campus and community will get out of this year’s homecoming events:
“Tradition … that’s what we want to bring back,” he says.
Carothers says she hopes alums will take the opportunity to reconnect with their alma mater.
“College is a special time in people’s lives — it’s something they don’t forget,” she says. “To get them to come back to campus and relive those memories, it’s fun.”