Penn State

Parking, traffic, events: Here’s what to know about Penn State Homecoming

Penn State freshman Marielena Rodriguez laughs as she tries to hold on to the mechanical bull Wednesday during the Penn State Homecoming Carnival on the HUB Lawn.
Penn State freshman Marielena Rodriguez laughs as she tries to hold on to the mechanical bull Wednesday during the Penn State Homecoming Carnival on the HUB Lawn.

Penn State’s Homecoming weekend is just about here — a time for alumni and students alike to celebrate their dear old state.

Here’s what you’ll need to know if you’re planning to attend the Homecoming festivities (or avoid the traffic).

Homecoming Parade

Parade participants will organize in the fields east of Medlar Field and then the parade units will form on Curtin Road and travel west to be joined by the units that are forming on the Intramural fields.

The parade begins at 6 p.m. Friday in front of the IM Building on Penn State’s campus. The parade route will be closed to traffic from 5:30 p.m. until the end of the parade.

From the IM Building, the parade will move west on Curtin Road, then south on Bigler road, west on Pollock Road, south on Shortlidge Road, west on College Avenue, north on Burrowes Road and then it will disperse at the intersection of Burrowes and Curtin roads, according to Penn State Transportation Services’ website.

According to Penn State, motorists must remove parked vehicles on College Avenue prior to event’s start. Porter Road will be closed, from Curtin Road to the southernmost entrance to the Jordan East parking area, from 5 p.m. until the parade units clear the roadway. Curtin Road will be closed between Porter Road and University Drive from 2 p.m. to the end of the parade.

Penn State faculty, staff and students who don’t want to stay until the end of the parade will need to move their vehicles before 5:30 p.m. Friday from the following areas: Yellow H (Shields Building), Yellow H (IM Building), Yellow H (Wagner Building), Orange J (McCoy Natatorium), Lot 42, Lot 81, HUB parking deck (Yellow C), Yellow J (Atherton Hall), Yellow N (in front of Health and Human Development Building), Red H (Noll Lab), Green C (Waring Commons) and Red K (ARL), according to Penn State.

For those who park at Old Main, Brown B (Pond Lab), Brown C (Osmond Lab), Brown E (Sparks Building) and Brown A (Willard, Reber and Deike buildings), normal exit routes will be available until 5:30 p.m. After that, motorists parked in those lots will be able to travel via Fraser Road to Curtin Road, where all vehicles must travel east to exit via Allen Road.

According to Penn State Homecoming’s website, university police will be stationed along the route starting at 5 p.m. to “help facilitate rush-hour traffic flow and begin closing the route.”

The parade will also affect CATABUS service. According to a release from CATA, route changes will be made to the majority of CATABUS routes from about 5:30 to 9 p.m.

The following locations will be inaccessible during the parade: East Halls, the Wagner Building, the IM Building, the Shields Building, the Centre County visitor’s center, Hastings Road, Curtin Road (including the Pattee Transit Center), Bigler Road, Pollock Road, the White Building, College Avenue between University Drive and Atherton Street, Burrowes Road and Pugh Street between Fairmont Avenue and College Avenue, according to the release. Additionally, there will be no access to the Stadium East and Stadium West parking lots, the Jordan East parking lot near Medlar Field or the Lot 44 parking lot.

The A, B, C, F, G, HC, HM, K, M, N, NE, NV, P, R, RC, RP, S, UT, V, VE, VN, W, WE, XB and XG routes and the White Loop and Red Link will experience detours while on campus. They will serve all regular stops except those stops within the vicinity of the areas listed above. The Blue Loop won’t be in service, according to the release.

After the parade ends and until midnight, stops on North Burrowes Road and the Pattee Transit Center will be closed due to the guarding of the Lion Shrine.

Penn State vs. Michigan State

Penn State’s homecoming game against Michigan State kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Beaver Stadium. It’s the Stripe Out Game — so if you’re attending, you’ll want to check to see whether you should don the blue or white.

Visit and enter your section to find out what color to wear.

Other Homecoming activities

Best of Penn State Carnival: 2-7 p.m. Wednesday, HUB Lawn

  • Carnival games, face painting, inflatables, food and more

Student-Alumni Ice Cream Social: 1-3 p.m. Thursday, Hintz Alumni Center

  • Penn State Berkey Creamery ice cream is served with a variety of toppings
  • Prizes awarded
  • Performances by students and the Alumni Blue Band

Tailgate Competition: before kickoff Saturday, Beaver Stadium tailgate lots

  • Tailgates will be graded based on “creativity, pride, food, atmosphere and quality” by judges
  • Categories for winners include: Best Overall, Best Food, Most Creative, Most Spirited, Nittany Newcomer and Best Student Organization
  • Winners announced and awarded prizes prior to fan entry into Beaver Stadium