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In celebration of its 150th anniversary, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is bringing back the Cornstock Festival, an event that hasn’t been held since the 1990s.

The Cornstock Festival is part of the Homecoming festivities this week at UNL and will be held on Friday, Oct. 4 from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. The festival will be located at the Memorial Stadium East Plaza according to Leslie Reed, the director of public affairs for University Communication. 

The event will include a parade, games, a ferris wheel, the Mutual of Omaha’s wild kingdom exhibit and guest appearances from Nebraskan celebrities, Reed said. A full schedule of events can be found on the Cornstock Festival page.

Reed said that Hannah Huston, a finalist on The Voice in 2016, will be performing at the Cornstock Festival. Reed also said that Huston will be unveiling a new single at the event, her first since 2016.

Reed also said there will be appearances by some notable UNL faculty, including Athletic Director Bill Moos and head basketball coaches Fred Hoiberg and Amy Williams. The kickoff for the event will be hosted by Chancellor Ronnie Green.

Reed said the original Cornstock Festival was focused on music.

“I remember Cornstock from back in the days when I was a student,” Reed said. “It was like a country music festival over on East Campus.”

Reed said she feels this event is very important, especially given the 150th anniversary.

“Homecoming is a time when alumni come back to campus; it’s really their opportunity to really celebrate our 150th anniversary,” Reed said. “Homecoming is a special time every year, but it’s an extra special time.”

Diane Mendenhall, associate to the chancellor for external engagement, said bringing back Cornstock falls in line with the goals of the university’s 150th anniversary. 

“Cornstock allows us to reignite past traditions and establish future ones that will engage students, staff, faculty, alumni and the entire Nebraska community to participate and look forward to returning to campus every year for the Homecoming celebration,” Mendenhall said in an email.

Freshman biochemistry major Connor Presley said he likes live music and basketball, so he will probably attend to hear the performers and speakers.

“I’m really into the basketball team, so I’ll probably stick around to hear Hoiberg talk,” Presley said.

Mendenhall also said that UNL students can look forward to seeing the Cornstock Festival becoming an annual event again.

“Our hope is Cornstock and all the homecoming events will engage the entire campus and state, from ages 2-92, to participate and look forward to returning to campus every year to celebrate our rich heritage, our friendships, and, with great pride, look toward our bold new future,” Mendenhall said.

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