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Welcome Back Festival returns Monday after three-year absence; College Avenue downtown will close


The crowd fills College Avenue during the 2019 Welcome Back Festival.
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The Clemson Alumni Association and the Student Alumni Council will host the first Welcome Back Festival since 2019 on Monday, August 22, from 6 – 8 p.m. The festival, traditionally one of the most popular events to kick off the new school year, was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and was rained out by a tropical storm in 2021.

The festival is one of Clemson’s marquee “town and gown” events, designed to foster goodwill between the city of Clemson and the University. Organizers close off College Avenue through downtown Clemson and turn it into a bustling street celebration featuring local vendors offering a variety of merchandise and food. It also offers area businesses the opportunity to introduce themselves to new students, display their services and products and share their Tiger spirit. 

There is no entry fee, but attendees can purchase $1 tickets that can be exchanged for merchandise and food. All proceeds from the festival contribute to the SAC Scholarship Endowment Fund, established in 1987 to assist future Clemson students.

This year’s festival will feature a welcome presentation by President Jim Clements and Clemson Mayor Robert Halfacre, followed by performances from the Tiger Pep Band, the Rally Cats, and Risky Business, which is a local band. The Tiger will also be making an appearance.

Tickets can be purchased at the Alumni Center lawn (109 Daniel Dr.) starting at noon on August 22 and throughout the festival on College Avenue.