The University of Toledo President Sharon L. Gaber and Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz will kick off the start of “Rocket Week” with an official proclamation from the mayor and ceremonial raising of the UT flag outside One Government Center on Friday, Aug. 24, at 10 a.m.
Rocket Week is a series of special events the first week of the 2018-19 academic year leading up to the home-opening football game of the defending Mid-American Conference Champion Toledo Rockets. The Rockets will host the Virginia Military Institute at the Glass Bowl on Saturday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m.
In addition to the location at One Government Center, Rocket flags will be flown at other city buildings and parks. Toledo area businesses and fans are encouraged to fly their University or Rocket flags during the week leading up to the home opener and all season long.
As part of Rocket Week, UT and the city of Toledo also will recognize city employees during the game and pregame festivities.
“We’re ready for another exciting school year and Rocket football season,” Gaber said. “UT is proud to be this city’s university. We also are very proud of our MAC Champions. I want to highly encourage our community to join us in showing their Rocket pride. I look forward to celebrating with Rocket fans and recognizing the dedicated individuals who serve our city.”
“The city of Toledo has an amazing university with an incredible athletics program, and I invite all Toledoans to join me in showing their Rocket pride as we raise the UT flag at One Government Center, city parks and other sites across the city — including my own home,” Kapszukiewicz said. “I want to thank UT for recognizing the hard work city employees do for our community. We will see you at the game on Sept. 1 and throughout the season.”
Some of the events during Rocket Week include a pep rally on campus Wednesday, Aug. 29, as well as downtown pep rallies on Thursday, Aug. 30, at the food trucks at Levis Square and on Friday, Aug. 31, in the entertainment district. The Friday night rallies continue a tradition in which the Rocket Marching Band performs at various establishments, marching through the downtown streets between each performance.
There also will be a Rocket Week Barbecue on Health Sciences Campus Wednesday, Aug. 29. Students, faculty and staff are welcome to stop by from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the patio outside UT Medical Center’s Four Seasons Bistro.
Throughout the week, and especially on “Rocket Thursday,” fans are encouraged to wear their Rocket gear or school colors midnight blue and gold in support of UT. The University celebrates Rocket Thursday each week throughout the school year.
UT faculty and staff also are encouraged to decorate their offices to show their Rocket pride for a chance to win tickets to the game. The contest will begin Friday, Aug. 24, with participants posting photos of their spirited work area with the hashtag #RocketWeek to enter the competition, which ends at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30. The winner will be announced Friday, Aug. 31, on the UT Athletics Twitter account @ToledoRockets.
On game day, UT will debut Stadium Drive Live, a pregame tailgate event located adjacent to the Glass Bowl on Stadium Drive that will take place prior to the first five Rocket home games this season. Opening three hours prior to kickoff, Stadium Drive Live will give fans an opportunity to enjoy tailgate games and live music performances on the Battery Wholesale stage. Fans will be able to purchase food and beverages from Aramark’s Tailgate Gourmet II booth, which will offer grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and other items, in addition to food trucks and the Bud Light beer garden.
Rocky’s Locker will offer a Rocket Week promotion providing customers a 3×5 flag with the purchase of $50 in Rocket gear, while supplies last. Participate on social media using the hashtag #RocketWeek.
For more information about Rocket Week or to purchase football tickets, stop by the UT Athletic Ticket Office in Savage Arena, go online to utrockets.com or call 419.530.GOLD (4653).