Homecoming arrives with bounce houses, chariot race

The Walter Pyramid sets the stage with carnival rides and an exhibit on CSULB history.

Homecoming arrives with bounce houses, chariot race

Todd Johnson / Daily 49er

Paulina Campos, left and Kyle Peterson stand before the crowd at Walter pyramid after being crowned homecoming king and queen on Saturday.

Cal State Long Beach celebrated its annual homecoming, “There’s No Place Like The Beach,” on Saturday with carnival rides, bounce houses, a CSULB history exhibit and chariot races.

Students and alumni gathered at the “Wizard of Oz”-inspired event by the Walter Pyramid to celebrate the first basketball game of the season. The Red Bull Chariot Race was especially popular, with contestants representing fraternities and members of the Homecoming Court competing in the race.

“It was really exciting to be a part of the first chariot race in Long Beach,” said Matt Caswell, a junior kinesiology major whose team was pulling homecoming queen candidate Kristin Farrel. Caswell’s team crashed in the final race.

“The cuts and bruises were worth it in the end,” he said. “I hope to see it again next year.”

The CSULB Alumni Association, Athletics Department and Associated Students Inc. worked together to organize this year’s homecoming.

Associated Students Inc. Chief Programming Officer Irving Barcenas said that planning for the event started in July to organize all the rides, inform alumni and find vendors and DJs.

Various departments were also present at the event to show attendees what each department had to offer.

The College of Liberal Arts gave free language lessons to interested attendees, and the College of Health and Human Services gave out pamphlets while Dean Kenneth I. Millar met with students.

Club sports were also at the event to host activities with students, including the CSULB Fencing Club, which sparred at different locations throughout the homecoming.

At the event, attendees could also view the “Walk Down Memory Lane” exhibit, where pictures and memorabilia dating back to the school’s founding in 1949 were on display, including 49er football helmets and a hand-carved antique fraternity paddle.

Adjacent to the main festivities, Greek organizations held a tailgate barbeque in Parking Lot 14A, where they hosted games for students in effort to give them a sense of Greek life.

Sophomore pre-nursing major Pearla Gonzalez, who attended the event, said she enjoyed the environment.

“It was awesome, and I had a lot of fun,” Gonzalez said. “I enjoyed the atmosphere and the cheer.”