Celebrated as Dixie State’s secondary Homecoming Week, D-Week’s roots can be traced as far back as 1914, three years after the institution’s founding, as a chance for Dixie alumni, students, and faculty and staff, as well as the community, to come together in a reunion setting for a week of activities.
“This year’s D-Week celebration truly has something for everyone with more activities than ever before in its 100 year history,” said Jordon Sharp, DSU Director of Student Involvement and Leadership. “The old traditions are intact with the Great Race, Painting of the D, the D-Queen Pageant, and the Carnival. However, there are new activities like the Dixie Idol competition, scooter giveaways, the dedication of the new clock tower, and so much more.”
The full slate of the D-Week events begins on Monday, April 7, with a D-Week kick-off at the Diagonal and Holland Plaza from 10 a.m.-12 noon, followed by the first day of the “Dixie Idol” competition at noon in the Gardner Center Living Room. On Tuesday, April 8, the “Dixie Idol” competition continues at noon at the Gardner Center, and the annual D-Queen Pageant will be held in the DSU Avenna Center Cox Auditorium that evening beginning at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets for the pageant are on sale now for $5, at the Avenna Center ticket office. For ticket information, call 435-652-7800 or visit www.dsutix.com.
Wednesday’s (April 9) activities include day three of “Dixie Idol” at noon, followed by the painting of “D Road” (800 East in front of the Burns Arena) at 1 p.m. That evening, a free concert featuring juggler Charles Peacock from “America’s Got Talent” fame, sponsored by the DSUSA, beginning at 7:30 p.m., in the Gardner Center Ballroom. Then on Thursday, April 10, everyone is invited to try to break a world record in party confetti popping at the Burns Arena starting at 6 p.m.
Following the world record try, Dixie State will dedicate its new clock tower in a special ceremony at the Holland Centennial Plaza beginning at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to all and there will be entertainment, fireworks, and a special tower light show choreographed to music.
To many, however, D-Week’s signature event is the Great Race, which will take place Friday, April 11, at 5 p.m., at Hansen Stadium. More than 30 ten-member teams, comprised of DSU alumni, students, faculty and staff, and community members, are expected to relay their way across campus by foot, mountain bike, roller blades, water, mud and more.
The inaugural Great Race occurred in 1971, but it origins can be traced back as early as 1964, as a bicycle race around the Black Hill near the airport. The first official Great Race included such events as motocross, horseback riding, and tubing down the Virgin River. Community growth and safety concerns eventually forced the race to the friendly confines of the DSU campus. In addition to the traditional running, biking, and swimming, Great Racers now have to negotiate, among other things, a slip n’ slide track, a roller blade course, a Dixie trivia question, and a mud pit throughout the 10-leg relay course.
Following the Great Race, the annual free D-Week Barbeque and Carnival will be held at the Hansen Stadium south practice field at 6 p.m. All DSU students, faculty and staff, and the community are invited to participate in the Great Race, carnival and concert festivities. For more information on the Great Race or to enter a team, contact the DSU Alumni Office at 435-652-7535.
D-Week wraps up with a busy day of events on Saturday, April 12, beginning with the annual tradition of whitewashing the ‘D’ on Black Hill, which includes a pancake breakfast provided by the DSU Alumni Association, at 7 a.m.
In addition, the St. George chapter of the DSU Alumni Association will host a special “Evening of Dixie,” which will take those in attendance on a fun look back at the over 100-year history of Dixie, featuring the Raging Red Show Choir, and former members of the old Dixie College’s Program Bureau. The “Evening of Dixie” is a free event that will begin at 7 p.m., at the Eccles Fine Arts Center Mainstage Theater.
The “Evening” also includes a formal awards ceremony as the DSU Alumni Association will present longtime faculty members Dr. Ron and Susan Garner with the “Dixie Spirit Award,” retired athletic department volunteer Ken Jolley with the “Rebel Award,” Randy W. Wilkinson with the “Community Service Award,” and John Blake with the “Big D/Roene DiFiore Award.” For more information on DSU Alumni events during D-Week, please visit dixie.edu/alumni/alumniandfriends.
The D-Day Dance will wrap up the festivities later that evening at 9 p.m., in the Gardner Center Plaza, followed by the annual “True Rebel Night” event held at midnight at the Tanner Fountain.
All D-Week activities are free and open to the public to attend, with the exception of the Annual D-Queen Pageant. For more information, contact the DSU Director of Student Involvement and Leadership Jordon Sharp at 435-652-7513 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit dixie.edu.