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Anteater alumni mingle in Aldrich Park at UCI's 2016 homecoming celebration. This year’s event, Party in the Park, on Feb. 25, will return to the grassy venue with picnicking, live music and the ever-popular beer garden. Steve Zylius / UCI

UCI Homecoming to welcome back thousands of alumni

Celebration will include music, beer garden, food trucks, fireworks and basketball game

Irvine, Calif., Jan. 10, 2017 – The University of California, Irvine’s 180,000-plus alumni will have a chance to celebrate their alma mater at the university’s annual homecoming event, from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25. Party in the Park will take place on campus in Aldrich Park. Crowds regularly top 5,000 alumni, students, faculty, staff and members of the community.

New this year, attendees can bring food for a picnic on the grass or purchase food from alumni-owned and/or -operated food trucks. Live music will play from every Anteater era, and the ever-popular beer garden will be open throughout the event. Other attractions include a family fun zone, an Art in the Park arts and crafts fair, and the Innovation @ Home Anteater entrepreneur marketplace. Schools and departments will host interactive demonstrations and welcome alums back to campus.

Party in the Park also affords alumni and guests the opportunity to give back. Five dollars from each admission ticket benefits the UCI Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship Fund, which awards merit-based scholarships to UCI students. An on-site giving booth will also collect contributions to the 2017 Raise Our Ranking campaign, which encourages Anteater alums to give any dollar amount and count toward U.S. News &World Report’s annual college ranking criteria. UCI’s goal is to double the number of alumni who give in 2017.

Homecoming also provides affinity networking experiences – including a Black Alumni Chapter luncheon, a Student Parent Orientation Program mixer event, and a reunion for members of the classes of ’67 through ’77 – featuring a variety of activities from Friday, Feb. 24, through Sunday, Feb. 26. These events are open to all, and registration is required.

A message from Chancellor Howard Gillman and fireworks will conclude the Party in the Park celebration. Immediately afterward, the UCI men’s NCAA Division I basketball team competes against California State University, Northridge at the Bren Events Center. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. The homecoming game sells out each year, so those interested in attending are encouraged to purchase tickets well in advance.

As a new option, the game will be live-streamed on the main stage screen in Aldrich Park, and a night market will remain open until 9:30 p.m. so that guests can enjoy food, beverages and entertainment while watching the game under the stars.

Tickets for Party in the Park are $7 per person. UCI students with valid UCI ID and children 12 and under are free. Alumni can buy specially priced tickets for the basketball game: $5 for general admission and $7 for reserved seats. Tickets for both events are available at http://www.alumni.uci.edu/homecoming.

Non-alumni can purchase tickets for the basketball game here.

Please visit http://www.alumni.uci.edu/homecoming for a detailed schedule, parking locations and registration for all homecoming events, including reunion activities.

QUICK FACTS

EVENT: The UC Irvine Alumni Association will host UCI’s homecoming celebration, including interactive university programs and a Party in the Park festival and culminating with a men’s basketball game against California State University, Northridge.

WHEN/WHERE: Events on Saturday, Feb. 25, will take place in Aldrich Park (grid F8 on campus map: https://communications.uci.edu/documents/pdf/UCI_16_map_campus_core.pdf), the UCI Student Center (grid E8, bldg. 113) and the Bren Events Center (grid D6, bldg. 901).

PRESS INFO: Media planning to attend should contact Elizabeth Beach at 949-824-9431.

BACKGROUND: Homecoming is an annual UCI tradition. More than 5,000 Anteaters typically come back to campus every year to be a part of it. The weekend’s activities range from a park festival with live entertainment to interactive demos and experiences presented by UCI’s schools and departments. This year’s celebration features live music, a beer garden, popular food trucks, an arts and crafts fair, a family fun zone and more. The day concludes with a men’s basketball game against Cal State Northridge in Big West Conference play.

About the UCI Alumni Association: Founded in 1968 to enrich the lives of alumni and engage them in lifelong advancement of UCI, the UCI Alumni Association fosters the success of the university’s more than 180,000 alumni by connecting them with each another and providing a wide range of university resources. With UCI’s ambition of being a globally preeminent university, the UCI Alumni Association strives to empower and support its alumni community through its chapters, career recruitment opportunities, social gatherings, membership program and alumni engagement events. For more information, visit www.alumni.uci.edu.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.

Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UCI news, visit news.uci.edu. Additional resources for journalists may be found at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists.

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