Manchester University
Oak Leaves

October 20, 2017

William_Bonfire (3)

Students gather around the bonfire to find warmth on the chilly, autumn evening to kick off Homecoming weekend. 

Photo by Sarah Shoemaker 



MU Ignites Homecoming Weekend with Annual Bonfire 

Teresa Masteller 

On Friday, October 13, the Manchester Activities Council (MAC) kicked off Homecoming weekend with a bonfire on the southeast side of campus by the intramural softball fields.
MAC is one of the major programming groups on campus. It is made up of students who meet weekly to plan campus events. They provide social, recreational and entertainment activities. Their goal is to encourage students to get involved in campus life and to enjoy it, as well as to get involved in leadership opportunities. This year, MAC had an incentive for people to come out and enjoy the bonfire. The first 100 students that brought canned goods were promised bandanas.

It has long been a tradition to begin Homecoming weekend with a bonfire. Students, parents and alumni were invited to spend Friday night enjoying food and laughs in front of the warmth of the roaring fire.
As the sun was setting, the large pile of wooden pallets was lit, and the bonfire was officially started. At 8:08 p.m., the typical time for any MAC event, the bonfire was in full effect and people started flickering in. Students from all classes enjoyed the night by the fire. 

This was the fourth time that Ethan Hines, a senior double-majoring in educational studies and communication, attended the Homecoming bonfire. “It’s basically a Manchester Homecoming tradition, so I feel like it’s a great way to start the weekend off,” he said.

Alexis Pendleton, a first-year majoring in exercise science, attended the bonfire for the first time Friday and she was not disappointed. “I actually had a lot of fun!” Pendleton said. “There were all sorts of snacks and drinks, the music was great, and I found that it was a great time to talk to friends and meet some new people.”
Students appreciated that an easy-going activity was used to ring in the Homecoming weekend. “In general, the bonfire is just a nice time to relax and enjoy time with friends,” Hines said. “This is probably my favorite part about it.” 

Pendleton also appreciated the atmosphere at the bonfire. “My favorite part of the bonfire was the fact that it gave me something fun, yet super laid-back to do on a Friday night” she said. 

Pendleton thought that a bonfire was the perfect activity to start off Homecoming weekend. “A bonfire is something that everyone is familiar with,” she says. “In turn, it is something that will be able to bring people together. They can have a good time without anyone not wanting to go because they aren't sure what the environment will be like.”

The fire started to die down by 9:30, but the embers that could be seen from an upper East Hall floor indicated that the event went on well past 10 p.m. 
The conversation and laughs that could be heard over the music helped to prove that Friday night’s bonfire was a raging success!