The University of North Texas has been celebrating homecoming all week and will cap off the annual celebration with a weekend of football, tailgating, music and spirit.

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Parade participants cheer for the crowd during the UNT Homecoming parade on the Square in November 2019.

It’s a return to homecoming after events were canceled due to the pandemic in 2020.

The weekend celebration will kick off on Friday with a screening of a mini-documentary, This is Eli Young Band, which features the Grammy-nominated country band that got its start in Denton on the UNT campus. The screening starts at 2:30 p.m. Friday at the Lyceum and is followed by a panel discussion about the band, the documentary and how the campus played a role in the band and its artistic vision.

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North Texas cheerleaders and Scrappy, the mascot of the University of North Texas, wave to the crowd during the UNT Homecoming parade near the Courthouse on the Square, Saturday, November 2, 2019, in Denton, Texas.

A spirit march will start at 7 p.m. on Friday at Fraternity Row and Maple Street. Students and alumni can proceed west on Maple Street to the bonfire site on the north parking lot at Apogee Stadium.

The homecoming bonfire starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, and at the same time, Eli Young Band will perform in concert at the UNT Coliseum, 601 N. Texas Blvd. Friday night’s homecoming events with team competition awards begin at 9 p.m.

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UNT Torch Bearers, a subset of the Talons, ready their torches to light the homecoming bonfire on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. The 23 members of the Talons who put in the most hours toward the bonfire in the previous week earn the honor of being a torch bearer.

This year, UNT won’t have a homecoming parade. Tailgating starts before the UNT vs. University of Texas at El Paso kickoff at 3 p.m.

The university honored two alumni Thursday night with Distinguished Alumni awards: Wilson Jones, who grew up in Denton and served as the CEO of Oshkosh Corp. during his nearly 10 years at the company; and Michael Penaluna, a UNT faculty member who also has worked for the city of Denton’s emergency management.

LUCINDA BREEDING-GONZALES can be reached at 940-566-6877 and via Twitter at @LBreedingDRC.

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