HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – The City of Hattiesburg is buzzing with excitement for homecoming at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM).

Homecoming week at USM will continue at 7:00 p.m. on Friday at Spirit Park for a pep rally. Alumni, students, and fans can enjoy live music, food trucks and a performance the Pride of Mississippi marching band and the Southern Miss cheerleaders.

On Saturday, the USM homecoming parade will roll at 1:00 p.m. on Hardy Street.

The Golden Eagles will face Old Dominion at the Rock at 6:00 p.m.

“Homecoming is important for me because I get to come back, and I get to reconnect with all the friends and family and alums that were here. And after that, it also gives me an opportunity to meet the younger generations and pour back into them,” said Laronzo Bridges, who graduated from USM in 1999.

“It is really important. It’s just a time that we all can get together and just relax after midterm week and just have fun together,” said Bridgett Jackson, a Southern Miss student.

“I’m excited to see who wins homecoming. The seniors and the freshmen in our fraternity are going to be on the float. And I’m just excited to go watch them play football,” said Chase Kennedy, another Southern Miss student.

This year’s homecoming theme is “Destined for Distinction.”