Marching with Vandal pride — Thousands of students and alumni took to the streets to celebrate homecoming this weekend

Despite high winds, thousands of students and alumni marched the streets on University of Idaho’s campus for Serpentine, embracing their Vandal pride Friday night.

The radiant gleam from glow sticks swung from band members and their instruments as they marched through campus at the event, which began at 8 p.m. at the top of new Greek Row.

The line of people in Serpentine grew as the band passed each of the Greek houses and Residence Halls, eventually making their way to the parking lot behind the Kibbie Dome for the bonfire.

Students homemade noise makers echoed the streets as they waved flags from their respective fraternity or sorority through the air. Students marched to their own chants and sang along to the Idaho Fight Song.

“It’s a really great experience to see what serpentine is like from a fraternities’ side, instead of living in the residence halls for three years — It’s a big difference,” said Zach Farman, UI senior and member of Lambda Chi Alpha.

Farman said his favorite part before serpentine is when all the members of the house hang out together.

As the crowd reached the gravel parking lot behind the Kibbie Dome, the march stopped, and the bonfire began. The marching band played one last song before the Homecoming Committee took the stage and announced homecoming royalty finalists.

As the flames set the parking lot ablaze, Saturday’s Vandal football opponents, Louisiana-Lafayette, had their flag thrown into the fire while the Homecoming Committee led the students in chants.

“The tradition of the bonfire and fireworks — it’s great — it’s been a tradition since I was in college,” said UI alumni Jim Briggs, who graduated in 1987.

Briggs said he has been visiting UI’s homecoming celebrations for the last seven to eight years, and his kids now attend the university. He started his night with his wife at the bonfire and said he was disappointed about the fireworks.

Fireworks were set to illuminate the sky following the bonfire, but were postponed due to high winds. According to the UI webpage, the fireworks are now set for Oct. 27, during Dad’s Weekend.

Friday’s Vandal festivities ended at the Theophilus Tower, as LED lights illuminated the windows of the residence hall. A tradition since 2010, the Tower Lights display, put together by the Association of Computing Machinery, gave off a laid-back atmosphere, different from Serpentine and the bonfire, while students and community members quietly watched the show. The night came to a close following the Tower Lights show as people gathered their blankets from the Tower Lawn, ending their night with the Vandal Fight Song.

Kali Nelson can be reached at

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