"American Idol" winner Laine Hardy will perform at a free concert in downtown Wilmington during Wilmington College's homecoming festivities. (Submitted photo)
"American Idol" winner Laine Hardy will perform at a free concert in downtown Wilmington during Wilmington College's homecoming festivities. (Submitted photo)
Wilmington College’s autumn rituals of Homecoming, Family Day and Alumni Weekend — packaged into the grand finale of WC’s 150th anniversary celebration — all converge Thursday through Saturday (Sept. 16 through 18) as the campus, alumni and greater Wilmington communities look forward to a September weekend to remember.

While the pandemic squelched much of the special programming initially planned for the College’s sesquicentennial observance in 2020 and ’21, the upcoming celebration weekend is designed to usher out WC’s first century and a half with bang.

The campus community and early arriving revelers will be on hand for the annual Mud Volleyball Tournament Thursday, at 4 p.m., in the lower athletic field, followed that evening with a pep rally and bonfire.

The College partnered with the Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau to bring Laine Hardy of TV’s American Idol fame to downtown Wilmington for a free concert open to all. The Block Party begins Friday, at 5 p.m., with food trucks open for business as crowds gather for the 7:30 p.m. concert. Downtown Main St., between S. South and Mulberry, will be closed to traffic and serve as the concert venue.

Activities start bright and early Saturday morning when the 50-year reunion class, 1971, and last year’s class, 1970, combine for the Quaker Emeriti Breakfast, where alumni will be recognized for their half century as Wilmington College alumni.

Special gatherings are planned throughout the day for swim team, agriculture and multicultural student alumni, and those who were active in various student organizations.

The Alumni Welcome Tent opens at 9:30 a.m. and is located across the street from Williams Stadium.

The starting gun for a Homecoming staple, Greek Bed Races, will be at 10:30 a.m. at Withrow Circle, right before tailgating begins at 11 a.m. in designated parking areas near Williams Stadium. The Family Day “Rockin’ the Mall” is planned for Collett Mall with food trucks, a rock-climbing wall, inflatable games and other family friendly attractions from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Alumnus Brad Schwamberger will lead a “Presidential Tree Tour” through Hazard Arboretum at 11:30 a.m. Those interested should meet at the arboretum entrance or Alumni Welcome Tent.

The Fightin’ Quakers versus Ohio Northern football game kicks off at 3 p.m. at Williams Stadium. Featuring the Quaker Thunder Pep Band, the Homecoming game is offered free of charge. Halftime festivities include the introduction of Homecoming royalty and the crowning of the king and queen, and induction of the 2021 class of the Athletic Hall of Fame (John Creech ’10, Callen Martin ’10, Katie Streck ’08, Bud Lewis and Dick Weidner ’68).

The entire community is invited to join students, alumni, faculty, staff and their families Saturday evening for a concert on Elm St. featuring Vinyl Countdown, following the football game at approximately at 5:30 p.m.