Homecoming activities at the University of Central Arkansas concluded Saturday with tailgating, the homecoming parade and the Bears game against Nicholls State University.

Katy Freyaldenhoven, student activities homecoming chair, said, "Overall the student activities this week went really well. The student population was really excited about it."

Bruce Street was lined with student and community organizations holding tailgate parties on Saturday afternoon. The annual homecoming parade made its way down the street about 3 p.m.

Haley Fowler of UCA Alumni Services said winners of the parade were, first place, the Residence Housing Association/Housing and Residence Life; second place, Alpha Sigma Alpha and Sigma Phi Epsilon; third place, Sigma Nu.

Fowler said the week’s student activities included karaoke night on Monday at Bear’s Den Pizza, and a pep rally on Tuesday, where the homecoming court was announced.

Freyaldenhoven said on Wednesday more than 92 groups participated in "Tag UCA," a sidewalk art competition. On Thursday a bonfire was rained out, but it was rescheduled for Nov. 7 before the game, she said. An alternative event was scheduled at Doe’s Eat Place on Thursday. On Friday, she said, a 6 a.m. pep rally was held, she added.

"Everything went really smooth except for the bonfire getting rained out," Fowler said.

Fowler added at Tuesday’s pep rally, every student received a purple bracelet to wear during homecoming week in memory of Chavares Block and Ryan Henderson, the two UCA students who were killed last year. The one-year anniversary of their deaths is on Monday, she said. 

This year the committee decided to incorporate a philanthropic drive into the various student events. Students were encouraged to bring canned food, new toys and clothing to each event. Collection points were also set up around the community. The charitable drive was to continue throughout the homecoming game Saturday night. Freyaldenhoven said she will know Monday how many items the drive raised.

"All week we had distribution containers in the student center and around campus and at each event. We haven’t picked up the containers in the community yet," she said. "I think the students were really responsive. The feedback I got was that they were really excited, so I think it’s going to be something that eventually grows."