TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s homecoming at the University of Alabama which means alumni and fun. The university is hosting a wide variety of events to celebrate.

This year’s theme is “The Future is Crimson,” a reflection on the legacy and tradition of UA homecoming, something the committee said they’ve been preparing for since March.

There’ll be a huge pep rally and bonfire on the quad Friday evening, a longstanding tradition for the Tide on homecoming-eve.

While the Alabama Forestry Commission has issued a statewide fire alert restricting outdoor burning, the Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue said the university was issued a burn permit.

Executive Director for the Homecoming Student Board Mary Kate Grossman said homecoming festivities will be heavily monitored.

“The city has provided us with the adequate protection via our fire and police department, so we are making sure that everyone is safe,” said Grossman. “That’s also one of the reasons that the Airforce ROTC guards the bonfire every year just making sure that all of our students in our community are staying safe.”

Grossman added that UA homecoming is really a weeklong extravaganza with bowling, dodgeball and choreography competitions, a day of service, the Roll Tide Run, pep rally, bonfire, and parade. She said it’s a bonding experience like no other.

“To me, it’s a really, really unique experience to bring not only our students but also our alumni and our Tuscaloosa community together to really celebrate what it means to be a part of the Bama community and what it means to be an integral part of this campus. It’s really that time where we all get to reflect on all of the things that this university has provided for us as well as how much we have poured into the university,” said Grossman.

Tide fans will be rising with the sun for this year, especially to squeeze in all they have planned ahead of Saturday’s 11:00 a.m. kick off at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Grossman said the parade will start at 7:00 a.m. Saturday with a shorter and modified route starting behind the baseball field and ending at University and 21st.

This means an early wakeup call for participating members like Colorguard member Tessa Schlomer.

“I think we have to be at Butler Field at 6:30 a.m. and then the kickoff for the parade is at 7:00 a.m.,” said Schlomer. “It is quite early but it’s such a surreal experience to be able to perform and I’m just so grateful for this opportunity.”

Friday’s pep rally and bonfire will start at 6:30 p.m. and a step show is set to follow at Coleman Coliseum.