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UC Homecoming: Bearcats, Bratwurst and the Battle for the Victory Bell

The University of Cincinnati will bring its Homecoming Parade and thousands of fans downtown for the Bearcats' football game against Miami University on Sept. 20, the same weekend as Cincinnati's Oktoberfest.

Date: 8/27/2014 8:27:00 AM
By: Tom Robinette
Phone: (513) 556-1825
Photos By: Lisa Ventre and Dottie Stover, UC Creative Services

UC ingot   "Down the Drive" is headed downtown.
UC students cheering
UC students root on the Bearcats football team with the "Down the Drive" cheer. This year's Homecoming game will be played downtown against Miami University. (Photo by Lisa Ventre)

The University of Cincinnati will bring the familiar cheer that's half dance, half rallying cry and many other UC traditions to downtown Cincinnati as part of the university's Homecoming festivities on Sept. 20.

The main event will be the Bearcats' football game against longtime rival Miami University at Paul Brown Stadium, but there's plenty more to get excited about for this year's special celebration.

Homecoming's big weekend will be the same as the City of Cincinnati's annual Oktoberfest, a grand tribute to the city's German heritage. The UC Alumni Association partnered with the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber to bring the two premier occasions together, inspiring this year's Homecoming theme – "Homecoming Zinzinnati!"


Renovations to Nippert Stadium on UC's campus require the football team's 2014 home games to be played downtown at Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals, and the traditional UC Homecoming Parade will roll along the riverfront too. As a prelude to the Saturday showcase, the Alumni Association and UC Athletics will start the downtown festivities with a Homecoming Pep Rally on Fountain Square the night of Sept. 19. 

There are three potential game times on Sept. 20, which will determine when the parade is held:
  • Noon kickoff: parade starts at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19
    UC Homecoming Zinzinnati! graphic
    This year's Homecoming theme – "Homecoming Zinzinnati!" – reflects the pairing of UC's grand celebration with the City of Cincinnati's Oktoberfest.

  • 3:30 p.m. kickoff: parade starts at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 20
  • 7 p.m. kickoff: parade starts at 4 p.m. Sept. 20
The game time will be announced on or around Sept. 8.

The parade will start outside the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum at Great American Ball Park, travel west on Freedom Way and end at Elm Street outside Paul Brown Stadium. Alumni, students, employees, families and friends will line the route as UC Board of Trustees Chairman Tom Humes and his wife, Marty, preside over the action as grand marshals. The Humeses are co-chairs of UC’s Presidential Bicentennial Commission.

When Tom Humes joins the parade lineup, he will have completed a long journey from mascot to marshal. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing from UC's Carl H. Lindner College of Business ('71) and a master's degree in marketing and media communication from the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences ('77). As an undergrad he even served as UC's mascot. He is now president of Great Traditions Land & Development, a top local real estate development company, and has been a UC board member since 2007. Marty earned her master's in education ('73) from the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services and is an avid local volunteer and fundraiser.

Tom and Marty Humes
UC Board of Trustees Chairman Tom Humes and his wife, Marty, will serve as Homecoming Parade grand marshals. (Photo by Dottie Stover)

The Bearcats will face the Miami University RedHawks in the Battle for the Victory Bell, a rivalry that dates back to 1888. Miami leads the all-time series 59-52-7, but UC has won eight in a row, including a 14-0 win last year at Oxford. The game time is dictated by television coverage and will be announced on or around Sept. 8.

Pre-game tailgating will take place outside the stadium, and parking lots will open four hours before kickoff. Holy Grail Tavern & Grille in The Banks area of downtown will be the official Homecoming hangout for Bearcats fans. More information on tailgating and other game-day activities is available online from UC Athletics.

Many long-held Homecoming traditions still will take place on and around UC's campus in the days leading up to the weekend highlights. There will be new events too, including the Homecoming Food Drive, a joint effort from UC's Center for Community Engagement, the Freestore Foodbank, the Shared Harvest Foodbank and Miami University. Fans of the Bearcats will compete with RedHawks fans to see who can collect the most cash donations and nonperishable food items. Contributions can be made via custom Web app and at the Center for Community Engagement and Paul Brown Stadium.


A full list of events, including student activities, is available on the Homecoming website. To help plan your visit, the Alumni Association also has a list of "Need-to-Knows" with parking information and more.

Wednesday, Sept. 17
  • UC Blue Ash College Homecoming Celebration
    11 a.m. to 1 p.m., UC's regional campus in Blue Ash

    Featuring music, free food, games and more; for details, contact Katelyn Hainline at or 513-936-1500

Friday, Sept. 19
UC marching band
This year's Homecoming Parade will be held downtown in The Banks area. (Photo by Dottie Stover)

  • University Honors Program Homecoming Cookout
    3-6 p.m., Herman Schneider Quad, Uptown Campus

  • Homecoming Pep Rally
    5-8 p.m., Fountain Square, downtown Cincinnati

  • African American Alumni Affiliate (4A) Welcome Reception/Registration
    5-9 p.m., The Yard House restaurant, The Banks, downtown Cincinnati

  • College of Engineering & Applied Science Homecoming Celebration
    5:30-7:30 p.m., Mick & Mack's Contemporary Cafe patio, Tangeman University Center (TUC), Uptown Campus

  • UC Alumni Band Reunion
    6:30-10 p.m., Mecklenburg Gardens, Corryville

    Registration costs $5; reservations are required; for details, contact LeAnne Anklan at 513-227-1039

  • Homecoming Parade (pending noon Sept. 20 game time)
    Time TBA, The Banks, downtown Cincinnati

Saturday, Sept. 20

  • 4A Family Game Watch Party
    Time TBA, Russell C. Myers Alumni Center, Uptown Campus

    Featuring food and games for the family; $10 for adults; kids younger than 16 get in free; email reservations to

  • DAAPmade Homecoming Social
    Time TBA, The Wine Guy Kitchen and Bar, The Banks, downtown Cincinnati

    Featuring drink specials for all Bearcats fans

  • UC Clermont College Parade Watch & Tailgate
    Three hours before kickoff, Holy Grail Tavern & Grille, The Banks, downtown Cincinnati

  • McMicken College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Tailgate Party
    Three hours before kickoff, Concourse C, Paul Brown Stadium

  • Homecoming Parade (pending 3:30 or 7 p.m. game time)
    Time TBA, The Banks, downtown Cincinnati

  • UC vs. Miami University football game
    Time TBA, Paul Brown Stadium; buy tickets online

    Fans are encouraged to wear red to this Ring of Red game

  • Presentation of Homecoming Court, King and Queen crowning
    Halftime, Paul Brown Stadium
Homecoming is sponsored in part by GEICO. For more information about all things Homecoming, go to the UC Alumni Association Homecoming website