More than 50,000 students, alumni and community members are expected to take part in the University of Arizona's 99th annual Homecoming celebration this weekend.

Some of this year's festivities include a new Ghosts of the UA Tour and the annual Homecoming parade, featuring former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, as grand marshals.

Here are some other Homecoming highlights to look for:

Thursday, Nov. 7

Alumni from the classes of 1963, 1988, and 2003 will catch up with friends and classmates during a reunion celebration at the Marriott University Park Hotel, 880 E. Second St.

Reunion details are available on the Alumni Association website.

Friday, Nov. 8

During the fourth annual Collegiate & Campus Showcase, UA faculty, staff, and students will share their expertise on a variety of topics through special presentations and tours.

The showcase begins at 9 a.m. and continues throughout the day. A complete schedule is available online, and complimentary shuttle service will be provided from the Tyndall Avenue Garage.

On Friday, visitors also can take part in the University's new Ghosts of the UA Tour, which will start at Old Main at 10 a.m.

The free hour-long walking tour, presented by the Student Alumni Ambassadors, offers an introduction to the spooky side of Arizona's oldest university.

Tour participants will visit some of the oldest buildings on campus and hear about the Old Main ghost, the haunting of Maricopa Hall, and other UA ghost stories.

At 11:30 a.m., alumni and friends of the University are invited to celebrate their alma mater with guest speaker Brigetta Barrett, a UA graduate and 2012 Olympic silver medalist, during theHomecoming Luncheon.

Later in the afternoon, at 3 p.m., the Alumni of the Year Awards Ceremony will honor the extraordinary achievements and contributions of Wildcat alumni.

Fifteen alumni will be honored, including Ofelia Zepeda, a nationally recognized linguist and poet; Cheri Blauwet, a Paralympic athlete and physician; and Jack Cole, former dean of the UA College of Pharmacy who had a 56-year tenure at the UA.

complete list of this year's award winners is available online. Reservations for the awards ceremony are required; contact Penny Davis at 520-626-3835 or

Friday's events will culminate with the Bear Down Friday and Pep Rally on East University Boulevard at 5 p.m.

UA students, alumni and community members are invited to join Wildcat football coach Rich Rodriguez, vice president for athletics Greg Byrne, the Pride of Arizona marching band and the 2013 Homecoming court at the pep rally, where this year's Homecoming king and queen will be announced around 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 9

Four hours prior to the football game kickoff at 8 p.m., students and alumni can stop by the UA Mall for the Wildcat for Life Tailgate Party, hosted by the UA Alumni Association, and Tents on the Mall, where visitors can enjoy a variety of food and activities and get information about numerous campus departments and programs.

At 4 p.m., the annual Homecoming Parade will kick off on the UA Mall. Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, a retired astronaut and U.S. Navy captain, are this year's parade grand marshals.

On Saturday night, football fans can head to Arizona Stadium at where the Wildcats will take on the UCLA Bruins at 8 p.m. Details about the game can be found online at Gameday Central.

For a complete list of Homecoming events, visit the Alumni Association's Homecoming page.

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