NORMAN — When Annie Tucker was a freshman at the University of Oklahoma, she felt like she was thrown into homecoming.
Now a junior, Tucker, 20, said she has a better idea what's going on this year.
“It gets easier as you figure out how to do things,” she said. “You know what to expect.”
Tucker, a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, is working with other members on a float for OU's Homecoming parade, which kicks off Saturday morning. The sorority's float is based on the Disney movie “Finding Nemo,” and includes an aquarium with characters from the film, she said.
OU students have been planning and building parade floats since they arrived on campus at the beginning of the semester. The work is time-consuming, Tucker said, but it will pay off soon.
“We're getting close to being done,” she said.
Kassidy Cook, the homecoming coordinator for OU's Campus Activities Council, said the theme for this year's festivities is “Drawn Together by Tradition.” Parade floats will feature characters from various cartoons and comic books, he said.
Homecoming festivities began Monday morning with a banner competition and continued in the evening with a benefit night at the Chipotle restaurant on Campus Corner to raise money for Children's Miracle Network. The line at the restaurant was a block long Monday evening, Cook said.
The main reason for the festivities is to bring life and activity to campus and celebrate the university's traditions before the Sooners face Texas Tech on Saturday afternoon, Cook said.
The week also will feature Night at the Huff at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Houston Huffman Center. The event is an activity night in which teams compete in volleyball, basketball and dodgeball matches.
OU also will host a pep rally at 7:30 p.m. Friday at McCasland Field House. The rally includes performances by OU student groups.
The homecoming parade kicks off at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, beginning on Elm Street. Meteorologist Gary England will serve as the parade marshal.