Homecoming Weekend: Tours, Treats, Teams, and Traditions

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President Beilock and the Class of 2027 will share their first Big Green bonfire.

Homecoming bonfire 2022
The bonfire at last year’s Homecoming. This year’s bonfire takes place on Friday, Oct. 20. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

As the temperatures drop, excitement is rising for Homecoming weekend, which kicks off with Dartmouth Night on Friday, Oct. 20.

This year marks President Sian Leah Beilock’s first Big Green bonfire, and the first time since 2018 that the Dartmouth Night speakers will address the community from the steps of Dartmouth Hall.

Miriam Bowman ’27, one of the Bonfire Chairs, says she’s excited to be part of Homecoming traditions for the first time, and to see the entire community—students, families, faculty, and alumni—come together to celebrate.

“I am incredibly excited for the fire and what we have in store,” Bowman says. “Getting to run many Homecoming traditions with my class is an honor, and something I know I will cherish for years to come.”

The Bonfire Chairs, first-year undergraduate students who do everything from coordinating bonfire-related activities to leading dozens of first-year volunteers in building the structure itself, also include Nāhoa Ah Yo, Caroline Finn, Gabriella Messina, Aakanksh Vaidya, and Casey Yang.

Construction of the bonfire at Dartmouth
The bonfire construction on the Green in 2022. (Photo by Chris Johnson)

Dartmouth Night festivities

Food, drinks, and fun will be on hand for the Dartmouth community starting at 5 p.m. at the DARToberfest tent on the west lawn of Alumni Gym. Details about Spirit Stations and other student activities will be shared via Class of 2027 email group.

At 7 p.m., parade participants start gathering on the corner of Crosby and Lebanon streets. The spirit-filled procession will take off at 7:20 p.m., heading up East Wheelock to North Main Street and around the Green. The Class of 2027 will arrive at the Green separately, having been “swept” from various locations assigned by their house communities, led by bagpipers Josh Marks ’96 and, new this year, Ishan Prasad ’26. The ceremonies begin at 8 p.m.

Cheryl Bascomb ’82, vice president for alumni relations, President Beilock, Haldeman Family Director of Athletics and Recreation Mike Harrity, student athletes, and others will speak from the steps of Dartmouth Hall, after a hiatus due to Dartmouth’s 250th anniversary in 2019, COVID-19 in 2020, and the renovation of the hall in 2021 and 2022. After a warm welcome, the Class of ’27 will take a lap around the famed bonfire.

Earlier that day, the community can tour Baker Bell Tower between 2 and 4 p.m., and learn about the selective admissions process from Lee Coffin, vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid, from 3:45 to 5:30 p.m. at the Hood Museum of Art.

Rooting for the home teams

On Saturday, Brendan Nyhan, the James O. Freedman Presidential Professor in the Department of Government, will discuss new studies that challenge conventional wisdom about social media, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Hanover Inn, and parents and families can enjoy seasonal treats from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Alumni Gym West Lawn Tent. Bartlett Tower will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and tours of Baker Bell Tower continue between 2 and 4 p.m.

There also will be plenty of chances to cheer on Big Green teams, as women’s rugby squares off against Harvard at Brophy Field, field hockey takes on Princeton at Chase Field, and the equestrian team goes up against Sweet Briar at Morton Farm—all starting at 11 a.m.

The contests continue that afternoon with varsity football vs. Columbia at 1:30 p.m. at Memorial Field, and women’s ice hockey vs. Union in Thompson Arena and women’s soccer vs. Princeton at Burnham Field, both at 3 p.m.

Dartmouth Health and Safety Policies for COVID-19 will be in effect for Homecoming weekend events.

For a full list of 2023 homecoming events, see the Dartmouth Alumni website.

Aimee Minbiole