Red and gold leaves mixed with the smoke from portable grills as students set up camp in parking lots across campus the morning of WKU’s Homecoming.
The chilly air didn’t stop them from bringing tents, lawn chairs and food out to WKU’s designated tailgating areas. Some students came dressed for Halloween -pirates, Charlie Brown and even a beer keg were spotted.
Others wore sweaters and WKU hoodies to ward off the early-morning chill.
Tailgaters killed time before the game by tossing bean bags and using the backs of pick-up trucks as buffet tables. As the morning grew warmer and brighter, Greek students dressed in formalwear walked along Alumni Drive toward the heart of campus, where a dozen tents were spread out on South Lawn.
Floats from Friday night’s parade lined College Heights Boulevard on Saturday as students, parents and children flooded campus before WKU’s Homecoming game against North Texas.
It was likely that this weekend would be the most crowded campus would be all year. Country and rock music blared from speakers, and students held a spontaneous dance-off on the lawn in front of Bates- Runner Hall.
Bass beats pulsed from every corner of campus as WKU’s extended family amassed excitement for the afternoon game.
Parents and alumni chatted animatedly as kids enjoyed the carnival-like atmosphere.
The gamers were relaxed yet expectant as 2 p.m. drew nearer.
Whether the festive atmosphere was from the approaching game or Halloween the following day, one thing was for sure: WKU students didn’t lack school spirit.
By game time, Houchens-Smith Stadium was a sea of bright red and dark green. The Hilltoppers’ support for their school showed more than ever as the crowd of red-clad fans yelled and applauded as the football team ran out onto the field to kick off the game at the height of Homecoming weekend.