Students cheer on the Patriots at last year's Homecoming basketball game.

Students cheer on the Patriots at last year's Homecoming basketball game.

Students are gearing up for George Mason University’s annual Homecoming celebration with this year’s theme “There’s No Place Like Mason” inspired by “The Wizard of Oz” – think yellow brick roads, flying monkeys and plenty of Emerald City green.

The events officially begin Monday and culminate on Saturday after the men’s basketball game. There will be plenty of free treats, prizes and competitions to participate in all week long for students and faculty, so get ready to show your Patriot pride!

Some events to look forward to include the Emerald City Comedy Jam, free treats from the Lollipop Guild, a team lip-synching competition, the Oz Fest Homecoming dance and the Magic of Mason pep rally, which will feature student performances with games and giveaways galore.

Check out 2011 Mason Royalty at the We’re Off to See the Majesty pageant and vote for your favorite competitor. Then be sure to see talents soar during the If I Only Had Some Talent show featuring student performers competing for a cash prize.

Donated non-perishables will be built into elaborate structures by student teams and donated to a local food bank in the annual Can-Struction competition. Who knows? Maybe a replica of the Emerald City Castle itself will be built.

The Homecoming festivities have always found a way to bring students, alumni, staff, faculty and the community together. One event where all of these groups can converge is on Saturday at the annual Homecoming Parade, which will feature student organizations, community members, marching bands and more.

After the parade, make your way to the 13th annual Block Party and pick a spot to relax and enjoy the tailgate. Grab some friends, visit the heated tents, meet some alumni and score some free food.

Before you go back to Kansas, tap your ruby slippers (or emerald sneakers) together and get ready to see the men’s basketball team take on fellow CAA rival Old Dominion for a clash of the powerhouses.

For a complete list of all the Homecoming events, visit or check out the Office of Student Involvement.