Ragin’ Cajuns launch festivities celebrating homecoming week _lowres

Photo provided by University of Louisiana at Lafayette -- Madeleine Claire Ortte, 2014 Homecoming Queen for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, center, and her court will reign over Homecoming activities when the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns take on the South Alabama Jaguars Nov. 1. Shown, from left, are: Anna Katherine Devitt.; Melanie Calyn Benit; Kristen Michele Ashford; Ortte; Alexandra Dardar; Paola Mercedes Doria; and Hallie Renee’ Boudreaux.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s homecoming celebration began Sunday with festivities scheduled each weekday leading up to Saturday’s game against the South Alabama Jaguars.

The 2014 homecoming queen is Madeleine Claire Ortte, of Thibodaux, a senior majoring in speech pathology.

Maids on her court are Kristen Michele Ashford, of Port Allen; Melanie Calyn Benit, of Meraux; Hallie Reneé Boudreaux, of Lafayette; Alexandra Dardar, of Abbeville; Anna Katherine Devitt, of Baton Rouge; and Paola Mercedes Doria, of Houma.

This year’s theme, “Ragin’ Cajuns Ever After,” reflects the success of the university’s athletics programs, said Joelle Boudreaux, chairwoman of this year’s homecoming events, in a news release.

In December, the Ragin’ Cajuns football team won its third consecutive R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl; men’s basketball saw a berth in March’s NCAA Tournament; and men’s tennis took home the Sun Belt Conference Championship in April. In May, the Ragin’ Cajuns softball team made its sixth appearance at the Women’s College World Series, and the baseball team was named the nation’s unanimous No. 1 team.

“It’s been a great year,” Boudreaux said.

And there are plenty of options to celebrate the Ragin’ Cajun pride, with traditional events and new ones, including a food truck roundup featuring nine food trucks at the Alumni Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday.

“There will be plenty of events and activities for the community the entire week — from bowling to golf and tennis tournaments to the Allons Manger Food Truck Roundup,” Boudreaux said. “We’re excited. We want Ragin’ Cajun fans to come out and wear red to show their support and spirit, and to have fun.”

On Tuesday, fans will take a road trip to New Orleans for a special pregame party before cheering on former Ragin’ Cajun Elfrid Payton, now with the Orlando Magic, in his season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Activities planned throughout the week culminate with Saturday’s homecoming day festivities, including a parade that begins at 10 a.m. and tailgating at Cajun Field until the 4 p.m. kickoff.

Below is a list of other events:


n 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Cajuns Can Care Food Drive at the Alumni Center. Drop off canned food that will be donated to local food pantries.


n 6:30 p.m. — Yell Like Hell pep rally at Cajun Field. Public invited.


n 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Tennis tournament at Red Lerille’s and Bill Bass Open Golf Tournament at Les Vieux Chenes Golf Course. Preregistration information available at louisianaalumni.org.

  • 7:30 p.m. — University Wind Ensemble Annual Homecoming Concert at Angelle Hall. Event is free, and costumes are encouraged.
  • 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. — Friday Night Warm-Up: Fais Do-Do and Fall Fest at Blackham Coliseum. Cost is $15, and registration is required. For information, call Jamey Arnette at (337) 356-4999.


n 8 a.m. — Ragin’ Road Race 5K and 1-mile Fun Run begins at Alumni Center

  • 9 a.m. to noon — Alumni Center Open House
  • 10 a.m. — Homecoming Parade begins at Blackham Coliseum and ends on St. Mary Boulevard, by the Alumni Center.
  • 4 p.m. — Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns and South Alabama Jaguars game at Cajun Field. Tickets required.

For information about homecoming events, visit www.louisianaalumni.org/hcevents.