Annual homecoming bonfire a raging success

Kaitlyn Jorgensen
Staff Writer

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s homecoming bonfire was a sparkling way to kick off this week’s Homecoming events. The night began with an opening ceremony featuring our very own Maverick Machine, followed by music and games. 

The Homecoming bonfire was a tradition that ended in the early 1960’s for reasons unknown but was most recently revived in 2014. Rosalin Cobb and Dustin Slaughter, Homecoming 2017 Royalty, were asked to light this years’ 2018 bonfire, as last year’s event was rained out. 

Prior to the lighting of the bonfire, Rosalin Cobb, Homecoming 2017 Royalty, stated, “It really is an honor for us to kick off this event, and it’s amazing to be able to represent the students because without them, we wouldn’t be in this position. I’m looking forward to lighting this bonfire and then, quite literally, passing off the torch to this year’s Homecoming Royalty.” 

Dustin Slaughter, also Homecoming 2017 royalty, stated, “The coolest part for me is seeing all the students get out and get involved in this week. It’s exciting to see how people become more involved in Homecoming over the years, and how because of their involvement Homecoming continues to change. For example, Rosalin and I were the first Homecoming Royalty. We went from being called Homecoming “King and Queen” to being the first to be called Homecoming “Royalty,” and that’s really exciting to me to see how we, as a campus, continue to progress and become more inclusive.” 

The fire itself was built over 25 feet tall, and the heat from the blaze could be felt all the way from the top of Blakeslee Stadium where many gathered to watch it burn. 

A huge thank you goes out to Hot 96.7 who loaned out their sound equipment for this event. Hot 96.7 has been very involved in campus events over the last few years, not only with the Homecoming bonfire but with sponsoring things such as the Dr. Pepper scholarship giveaway, offering student internships, and covering sporting events on air such as the Maverick football and Hockey games.

Stunt Monkey, the promotions director for Hot 96.7 states: “The best part about being able to coordinate with MSU for events like this is the atmosphere and excitement the students have. Especially around homecoming; one of the best times of the year.” 

Following the fire, there was a massive display of fireworks, which prevailed despite the unexpected downpour. A beautiful display put on by the Student Events Team and a fantastic way to kick off Homecoming Week 2018. 

Feature photo by Kjiersten Hall | MSU Reporter.

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