The Lumberjacks are coming home this weekend.

NAU’s annual homecoming celebration started earlier this week for alumni and current students with a banquet Tuesday evening for this year’s homecoming dedicatee, Judy Manor. This year’s theme is “Home is Where the Lumberjacks Are.”

Students start the extended Homecoming Weekend on Thursday evening with a Traditions celebration on South Campus that includes a beard-growing contest and a pep rally and bonfire. 

Friday, NAU alumni will start arriving for the weekend festivities, starting with the Blue and Gold Reunion of the Class of 1977 luncheon for alumni at 11:30 a.m. at the High Country Conference Center.

Friday’s festivities also include a book signing at 3 p.m. at the NAU Book Store with NAU alumna Lisa Schnebly Heidinger and her father, Larry Schnebly, for her book “The Journal of Sedona Schnebly.”

All supporters of the blue and gold are welcome to attend the downtown pep rally at Heritage Square Friday evening. Starting at 4:45 p.m. the NAU marching band and Louie, the Lumberjack will lead Lumberjack fans from Flagstaff City Hall through the streets to Heritage Square for the pep rally at 5 p.m.

Alumni are welcome to attend the Café au Louie alumni breakfast starting at 9 a.m. Saturday at the 1899 Bar & Grill before heading out to the parade route. The buffet breakfast is $10 a person and a cash bar is available. Alumni should RSVP through the NAU homecoming website.

The parade starts at 11 a.m. Saturday near the 1899 Bar & Grill, runs along DuPont Avenue, then down South Beaver Street where it makes a turn at Peterson Hall onto McCreary Drive and ends at Cline Library. Parking and shuttle bus service on campus is free Saturday and Mountain Line is offering free bus service to the public on Routes 10 and 10A all day.

Route 10 connects the Woodlands Village and downtown Flagstaff areas via the NAU campus. However, the routes will be detoured off campus during the homecoming parade. According to the Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority, the detour will begin at approximately 8 a.m. and the regular route will resume at 1 p.m. During the detour, buses will deviate off the Beaver Street and use San Francisco Street as an alternate. Stops 3 & 18 (Bio Science), 4 (Gillenwater Hall) and 17 (Bookstore) will be closed. Temporary stops in both directions will be set up at San Francisco Street and Mountain View Road and at San Francisco Street and Franklin Avenue.

Due to anticipated heavy traffic in Flagstaff related to Homecoming festivities, all Mountain Line riders are encouraged to use the free FLGRide real time arrival app or texting service to see buses in real time and receive up-to-date bus arrival information.

Stay on campus to watch the volleyball team take on Portland State at the Rolle Activity Center at noon. Then check out the MakerLab Open House at Cline Library from 1 to 3 p.m. and watch a 3D printer at work. The library is also featuring an photography exhibit by NAU alumna Sue Bennett.

The pre-game tailgate party for the big game starts at 1 p.m. in the Skydome parking lot. Then NAU, sitting all alone in first place in the Big Sky Conference, takes on Sacramento State at 4 p.m. at the Walkup SkyDome.

Mountain Line is encouraging game-goers to avoid traffic and parking hassles by taking the bus. The Walkup Skydome can be easily accessed via routes 4, 14, and 10.

The reporter can be reached at or (928)556-2253.