Oct. 31, 2003
|Schedule of Events|
5:00 p.m. - Homecoming Pep Rally
| 6:40 p.m. - Volleyball
Lady Vols vs. Florida
|7:15 p.m. - Basketball Autograph Session|
8:00 p.m. - Scrimmages and Skills Contests
It will be a howling Halloween night when Hoopapalooza kicks off at Thompson-Boling Arena Oct. 31. But there will be much more than ghosts and goblins roaming the basketball facility on the scariest night of the year.
The annual event changes pace this year, falling on Tennessee's Homecoming weekend and celebrating a successful volleyball season for the Lady Vols. Fans, children and students are encouraged to come out and support the football, basketball and volleyball teams on this creepy night as all three of the Tennessee squads will be featured on a weekend where many out-of-town visitors will be soaking up as much orange as possible.
"You see a lot of people coming from out of town for Homecoming, and they're looking for something to do," says Chip Bryant, men's Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing. "So they'll get to experience three different sports while they're here for the full weekend."
"We looked at all three events and tried to package it to make it one event," says Carolyn Wares, women's Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing. "We think there's something for everybody."
For the smallest Vols and Lady Vols fans, there will be pumpkin decorating, face painting, costume contests with prizes and pictures with Smokey and Jr. Smokey. Children will be able to trick-or-treat with their favorite Vols and Lady Vols basketball stars in return for autographs. For University of Tennessee students, there will be a student costume contest with prizes, a scooter giveaway, free gift certificates and Halloween candy.
"It's going to be an exciting evening for fans of all ages, and we're looking forward to it," Bryant says. "It will be a fun family outing that provides an alternative safe place to spend Halloween."
A Homecoming parade will snake into the arena where a pep rally begins the evening at 5 p.m., setting the tone for Saturday's gridiron matchup between the Vols and the Duke Bluedevils.
At 6:40, the Lady Vols volleyball team will host the Florida Gators for the first-ever volleyball match to be played in Thompson-Boling. The Lady Vols are looking to break the Tennessee attendance record, and seek fans of all ages to attend their match with the rival Gators.
Hoopapalooza officially begins after the volleyball match (approximately 7:15) with a basketball autograph session where both Vols and Lady Vols basketball players will be available for fans. Scrimmages and skills contests follow the autograph session, giving Tennessee fans a look at the 2003-04 versions of the men's and women's teams as they try to conquer the Southeastern Conference.
Hoopapalooza began three years ago to supplement the traditional Midnight Madness events. It provides a family setting with fun and events for fans of all ages. This year's event combines various Tennessee sports to bring fans an entertaining and safe Halloween night.
"We're real excited that Hoopapalooza is going to be on Halloween this year," Bryant says. "It's going to give families a safe alternative to going out trick-or-treating. All those things you'd normally do on Halloween, we're going to have it at the arena."
"Especially with the time changing," Wares adds. "This will allow parents to take their children somewhere after it gets dark. We have a lot of events, and families can come and bring their young kids to see all their favorite Vols and Lady Vols athletes."WIVK, the Knoxville News Sentinel, Nestle and adidas are sponsors for this year's Hoopapalooza. Admission is free for all ages.