There’s something special about Homecoming week. It might be the pageantry, the traditions and the camaraderie you see. For some, it might even the football—if you haven't heard, our hometown Mean Green are doing pretty dang good this season. But for me, it’s the stories: The ones you hear from friends old and new, the ones you tell and the ones you write together. Every Homecoming represents another opportunity to revisit the people, places and things that have made us who we are—the opportunity to remember our story. Likewise, it’s also a time to create new memories, meet new people and experience all that our city has to offer.

This year, there are many events and gatherings that will help you write your story. Whether you’re coming home or just enjoying the festivities in your town, here are some ways to make this week’s story one to remember.

Photo by Rick Yeatts Photography

Homecoming is Saturday at the University of North Texas, when the 6-3, bowl eligible Mean Green will take on UTEP at Apogee Stadium—where UNT has yet to lose in 2017. Before then, students, fans, friends and alumni are invited to two special events that will ring in a weekend full of spirit and spirited fun.

Friday night is the customary bonfire, which will see Eagles past and present flock to Apogee to show their support for the scrappy Mean Green in advance of Saturday’s big game. The following morning, the annual Homecoming parade will depart from UNT’s Library Mall at 11 a.m. sharp, snake its way towards the Square, then return to campus. To know where you should stake out a spot, follow this map here.

Then, it’s game time. The All-Texas brawl between our Mean Green and the Miners of UTEP officially kicks off at 4:00 p.m., but there will be plenty of time to reconnect with old friends and enjoy ‘ol fashioned Homecoming fun at the various tailgates and pre-game activities leading up to the main event.

But that’s not all: Winter is coming, and not in the scary, White Walker way. Amidst the madness and mayhem of another Mean Green Homecoming, Dentonites also have the opportunity to get a leg up on their holiday shopping. The very merry Holiday Open House will take place both Saturday and Sunday, meaning you can shop ‘til you drop in Downtown Denton, eat some complementary snacks, then shop some more.

Between shopping, dining and cheering, there will be more than enough to keep even Scrooges and football haters happy throughout the weekend. Maybe you’re a lifelong Dentonite, or maybe it’s your first time back in years—either way, welcome home, and happy storytelling.