One of Hays’ biggest weekends is here — and you’re invited.

We’re speaking, of course, of Fort Hays State University’s Homecoming festivities and the Volga-German Oktoberfest. Visitors will be showing up throughout today and Friday to join local residents in the dual celebration of all things German as well as Black and Gold.

FHSU activities already are under way. The Tiger Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament took place earlier today and a social is planned tonight at the Robbins Center. On that facility’s east lawn will be a bonfire and pep rally at 7:30 p.m.

On Friday there will be reunions, socials and other gatherings galore of various classes, athletes, Greek organizations and donor groups.

The official tapping of the keg will take place at 11:30 a.m. Friday to kick off this year’s Oktoberfest. Remember that festivities will be north of the dike in Municipal Park. That is one of many changes to the annual traditions. Another significant one will be a drive-through food service for those not wishing to deal with the crowds. Call (785) 639-7687 or 639-7688 to place an order.

Another good number for Oktoberfest attendees to remember is the straight line of Safe Ride. 625-2580 will summon the Access-provided van that will safely carry people home after imbibing. Callers will not be taken to bars or restaurants, as it is not serving as a taxi service. Safe Ride is available to help reduce the number of impaired drivers getting on the road.

Saturday will present a variety of activities leading up to the 7 p.m. homecoming football game against Washburn University at Lewis Field Stadium. There will be a 5K Tiger Run/Walk and reunion breakfasts in the morning. The Homecoming Parade begins at 1 p.m. and features almost 100 entries in the procession down Main Street. Tailgating, picnics and reunions follow.

The only scheduled event on Sunday will be the Delta Sigma Phi Reunion Farewell Breakfast at the Golden Corral Buffet.

All in all, Tiger alums will have plenty to do throughout Homecoming weekend. So will local residents. Take part in as much as you can, enjoy yourselves, but be safe.

Ein Prosit and Go Tigers!

plowry@dailynews.net

Editorial by Patrick Lowry