It’s no secret that Howard University alum push the culture forward—in music, entertainment, politics, tech and so much more. That’s why this year’s festivities, branded with the theme “Forward,” is right on brand, as a concept that all Bison embody.
As always, this year’s homecoming is also an opportunity to look ahead toward future accomplishments and milestones to come while having a good time doing it.
If you’re going to be in Washington D.C. for your first trip to the “Mecca,” or just don’t quite know what to do, here’s your guide to the 2019 Howard Homecoming weekend. You’re welcome!
What To Do:
Thursday, October 10
Lit Night Happy Hour: The Park is almost synonymous with D.C. So it only makes sense you’ll want to get “lit” here before the real turn up begins. Imagine: four floors where the night comes alive, DJs spinning, celebrities mingling, hands going up in the air—that’s your typical Thursday night at the Park. The best part? You can head there for happy hour and and stay for dinner. 6 p.m. — The Park at 14th.
Friday, October, 11
YardFest: The unofficial kickoff to the weekend starts at YardFest, which gets going around 12 noon. Having changed it’s form over the years, this serves as the centerpiece of Howard University’s Homecoming celebrations, with surprise performances by leading hip-hop and R&B performers. In the past, heavy hitters such as Drake, Wale, Big Sean, Rick Ross and more have hit the stage. 12 p.m. — The Yard.
Step Show: The annual step show features choreographed steps and dance routines by Howard’s National Panhellenic Council. This is the opportunity to come and rep your fraternity or sorority. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are available here. 8 p.m. — Burr Gymnasium
The 3rd Annual HU Bar Crawl: Now in its third year, the HU Bar Crawl has attracted over 2500 partygoers and is the only non-university event that attracts alumni from all classes. The fun begins around H & U Streets in Northwest DC, and guests can enjoy drink specials all night long with a wristband. Grab your tix here. 6 p.m. — H & U Streets
The Set: A R&B Experience: Good vibes and an R&B set all night? And you don’t have to get dressed up? Count us in~ The Set features sounds by Howard alum C. DeVone + Malcolm Xavier, and features a photo booth, food, and certified good times all night long. Get in the building by getting your tix. 10 p.m. — Big Chief
Saturday, October, 12
The Tailgate: Tailgating has quickly become one of the biggest phenomenons at Howard, and this year is no different. Expect vendors from some of your favorite brands, and HU organizations. A tailgate also wouldn’t be complete without libations, burgers, hotdogs, sausages, jambalaya and perhaps some fellow grads you haven’t seen in years. 10 a.m. — Howard Center A Parking lot, 2328 Georgia Ave. NW.
The Parade: The parade is one of the highlights of Howard’s homecoming. Marching bands, dancers and floats depart from the main administration building at 2400 Sixth Street and proceed to the Valley in the middle of campus. 10 a.m. — Prime viewing spots are along Georgia Avenue NW near Banneker High School, where the reviewing stand is located.
The Game: The Howard Bison face Norfolk State. 1 p.m. — William H. Greene Stadium, 2400 Sixth St. NW.
South N The City: New York’s favorite happy hour is making its way to Washington D.C. for a Howard Homecoming Post Tailgate Happy Hour within walking distance of the festivities. Featuring sounds from the legendary DJ Commish, prepare yourself to sweat out your hair to dirty south set featuring hip-hop & R&B from below the Mason Dixon line. 6 p.m. – 1942 DC
Dussepalooza: One of the most notable parties during Howard Homecoming will be making its return — and they’re bringing Pusha T with them. Sadly, they’ve done away with the days of open bar D’usse all night, but expect a few drink tickets with your purchase, and of course, lots and lots of swag-surfing. Tickets are available here. 8 p.m. – Echostage
Sunday, October 13th
HU Karaoke Brunch feat. Talib Kweli and Angie Ange: Just when you thought you’d get to chill, there’s one last event to cap off the weekend. Hop on the mic and perform some of your favorite songs while enjoying a Trap, Soul, Hip-Hop and Afro-beats brunch with fellow HU alumni and friends. Tickets are available here. 11 a.m. — SAX Dinner Theater And Lounge
Where To Eat:
Cane: This Black-owned Caribbean restaurant by Chef Peter Prime on H Street NE was just awarded a bib gourmand by Michelin, and it’s a must-visit when you come to D.C. this weekend. Enjoy doubles so good you’ll think you’re in Trinidad, jerk wings and more!
Marvin: Marvin is a classic bistro and bar dedicated to Washington, D.C. native and soul superstar Marvin Gaye. Downstairs, enjoy delicious Southern food such as shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles and more. Upstairs check out its rooftop deck surrounded by old Motown photos and the sounds of rare funk, soul, ska, jazz, hip-hop, rap, and R&B.
DC City Smokehouse: Arguably the the city’s best barbecue destination, prepare to feast on dishes such as the DCity Halfsmoke and Meaty Palmer (turkey, pork belly, avocado, tomato, chipotle aioli). Also, in walking proximity to Howard University, this is sure to be a weekend hotspot—especially after the tailgate, so be sure to get here early.