UA Alumni Association
Blog Category:
Then and Now

Then: No one knows exactly when the UA bonfire and pep rally began, but this exhilarating lead-in to the Homecoming festivities may have started as early as 1920, predating the parade and other Homecoming traditions. Back then, the University’s original cactus garden occupied the area in front of Old Main where the bonfire is held today.

Now: The UA Homecoming weekend starts in flames on the eve of the game. Earlier that day, students from Bobcats Senior Honorary collect wood pallets from local businesses and UA Facilities Management preps the ground for the fire. At nightfall, crowds converge on Main Gate Square to follow Wilbur, Wilma, and the UA marching band and cheerleaders to Old Main, where the blaze, good cheer, and palpable Wildcat spirit warm everyone up for the events of the following day.