November 1, 2018

From the traditional lantern walk to the big game, Sun Devils of all ages are invited to join the festivities

Arizona State University is a community steeped in tradition, none more practiced and recognized than Homecoming week.

ASU Homecoming brings together Sun Devils from all walks of life — students, alumni, friends and family — for a weeklong celebration of pitchfork pride that culminates on Nov. 3 with a parade, block party and football game.

The university's first Homecoming was held in 1924, and the celebration continues to grow with every new generation of Sun Devils.

The theme of this year's festivities is "The Greatest Show," based off of the movie "The Greatest Showman." In keeping with that circus theme, this year's block party will include carnival games, according to Kiley Kastberg, the university-wide director of ASU Homecoming.

"Inspired by the movie, we wanted to create an environment that embraces individuality and focuses on gathering all of the campus locations together to highlight their talents," Kastberg said.

Here's a preview of the hallmark events you can enjoy this weekend.

Lantern Walk

One of the oldest and most cherished parts of the Homecoming tradition is the Lantern Walk, where participants make the short trek up "A" Mountain, carrying lanterns. Once at the top, the Homecoming royalty are announced.

Members of the Homecoming royalty are outstanding students who are chosen to act as stewards of ASU. The members are chosen based on their leadership qualities, achievements, involvement and their commitment to the Sun Devil spirit, pride and tradition.

When:  7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2

Where: Hayden Butte, “A” Mountain


The Homecoming parade brings together student organizations, colleges, departments, community organizations, local celebrations and the ASU marching band for a spectacle down University Drive. The parade begins four hours prior to the football game against Utah.

The parade then feeds right into the ASU block party, the most recent tradition to join the Homecoming weekend of celebration.

When: 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.

Where: University Drive, between Myrtle and McAllister avenues.

Block party

The block party is a festival event that began in 2003. It boasts a 14-acre footprint with more than 100 tents. In addition to activities for family, alumni and students, the block party features a host of experiences for young Sun Devils. One such activity is the ASU Homecoming Passport. Children can gather stamps at various sites and then return the passport to either the ASU Gammage tent or the ASU Thunderbird School of Global Management tent to collect a small prize. Completed passports will be entered for the grand prize of an Amazon Fire HD Tablet.

When: Immediately following the parade, Saturday, Nov. 3.

Where: Tempe campus; map of the block party.

The game

After the block party, Sun Devils will flood the stands of Sun Devil Stadium with gold, the sound of keys and cheers to bring home the win against Utah. Buy game day tickets.

When: 1 p.m.

Where: Sun Devil Stadium.

Top photo: ASU cheerleaders march in the 2016 Homecoming parade.

Isaac Windes

Reporter , Media Relations and Strategic Communications