OSU cancels 2020 Homecoming

Nuria Martinez-Keel The Oklahoman
A crowd walks past the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity during the annual Walkaround event for Oklahoma State's homecoming in Stillwater, Friday, Oct. 28, 2011. Bryan Terry/Oklahoman file

STILLWATER — America’s Greatest Homecoming is canceled.

The Oklahoma State University Alumni Association announced Monday no Homecoming festivities will take place this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. OSU’s largest annual event, known as America’s Greatest Homecoming, regularly draws tens of thousands of visitors to Stillwater, where large house decorations in the Greek neighborhood are a main attraction.

The announcement only pertains to events the Alumni Association hosts, including the Harvest Carnival and Chili Cookoff, Hester Street Painting, the Walkaround in the Greek neighborhood, Homecoming and Hoops, and the Sea of Orange Parade.

It does not affect the OSU Cowboys’ football game on Oct. 31 against Texas Tech.

“Certainly this is an unprecedented year, and there’s a lot of folks that are having to do things differently to make sure that we keep all of our alumni and our students and our team members safe,” Alumni Association President Rob McInturf said in a video news release.

Payne County has recorded 672 cases of COVID-19 and three deaths.

The Alumni Association made the decision in collaboration with university officials, OSU Athletics, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, and the City of Stillwater. Events were originally scheduled Oct. 26-31.

On-campus events for students and online events for alumni are under consideration as alternatives.

OSU is still preparing for students, faculty and staff to return to campus in person for the fall and spring semesters.