49ers celebrations kick off today with reception

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Tech's annual alumni and student homecoming event is Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 17 to 20.

From a wild scramble through the cactus and boulders to the top of M Mountain to the traditional 8 a.m. green chile bloody marys served at the Capitol Bar on Saturday to a Sunday afternoon scholarship fundraiser, 49ers offers four days of fall festivity for both the Tech community and the public.

Visit Macey Center for an art reception and opening from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday featuring local artists and announcing art selected for use in both Tech's 2014 celebration and Socorro San Miguel Mission's 400th anniversary. The works of art displayed are representations of places within the bounds of Socorro County. The art will be on display from Oct. 17 though Nov. 8.

Tech doesn't have a football team, but that doesn't mean there aren't sports at the school. 49ers sports events include a golf tournament Friday starting at 8 a.m., and a rugby match at 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, catch soccer matches starting at 10 a.m. and lasting until 3 p.m. For more information about participating in or watching these events, visit the school's website, www.nmt.edu~spe.

The annual ritual of bushwhacking up 2.5 miles of steep desert slopes to the top of Socorro Peak and whitewashing the M is scheduled for Friday morning starting at 9 a.m. Meet this year at Buck Wolfe Drive at the stop sign west of the golf course. You don't have to carry a bag of lime to participate, but you do have to RSVP by noon Oct. 17 (send a message to paint@nmt.edu) to reserve your place and lunch. The entry fee for the race is $10 (includes lunch); it's free for Tech students.

Tech vans will transport hikers to the base of the mountain and back down from the top after lunch. The first 20 individuals and student teams to reach the M with a bag of lime will receive $50. A new feature in this year's scramble is the appearance of the Vigilante Band, made up of Tech graduates, playing a special unplugged set atop the mountain while hikers eat their lunches.

The annual repainting event started in 1911, but the class of 1914 started the tradition of having freshman do the retouching. Since then, every entering Tech freshman has been expected (though not required) to participate in "M" Day.

What's a celebration in Socorro without a parade? The 49ers parade's theme this year is "Back to the Future: 124 years and counting…" The parade starts at 11 a.m. at Sedillo Park and then proceeds south on California Street to the plaza. Organizer Theresa Kappel predicts as many as 35 entries in this year's event.

Highlights include the Tech student street hockey club float with a posse of student roller bladers cutting it up on the pavement. Members of the college's track and field club will stage a 1950s dance scene from the movie "Back to the Future" on their float. The Capitol Bar's float will feature bar staff dressed up in garb representing eras starting with the 1890s when the legendary watering hole first opened.

The 49ers celebration isn't complete without a bit of partying in town.

The Vigilante Band, made up of Tech alums, plays at the Capitol Bar on Friday and Saturday nights. As per tradition, the Cap will open 8 a.m. Saturday to serve Techies and the public New Mexico-style green chile bloody mary's.

The Bodega Lounge hosts live music Friday evening and Ladies Night Saturday.

Old Town Bistro north of the plaza kicks off 49ers on Friday with Bob Dylan Night on the patio. All Dylan covers all night, with various performers. On Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m., listen to Audio Frenzy, Creamy Goodness, Jazz Sparks, Los Unusual Suspects, Studio 2656, Steve and Martha Cather, and other guests. On Sunday, the Bistro hosts the Victor J. Saracini Memorial Scholarship fund raiser with a social hour starting at 5 p.m., music at 6 Donations to the scholarship fund will be accepted. Saracini, a Tech graduate, was a pilot on Flight 175 on 9-11.