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USF homecoming takes visitors back to beach

University of South Florida (USF) students are preparing for Homecoming 1992 with a giant Ferris wheel, flea market and games.

But this year's homecoming, dubbed "Carnival," will have a special focus: "Back to the Beach."

To help bring the beach to USF, 22 tons of sand will be dumped on campus.

The sand will be used for volleyball tournaments and castle-building, homecoming chairman Buddy Morris said.

The weeklong celebration kicks off at 11 a.m. today with a rappelling clinic sponsored by USF's Army ROTC program. Carnival games and a flea market will be open at the Elm Street Market on campus.

"There will be about 40 booths set up for the flea market," said Janet Zink, promotions spokeswoman. "Also, for anybody who wants to try rappeling down the side of the College of Engineering building, the ROTC will be there until 3 p.m."

At 8 p.m. the homecoming committee will sponsor the "Bull's Night Out" bonfire and pep rally, followed by a video dance party on the Martin Luther King Plaza on campus.

A beach party with beach music and sand is scheduled for 9 p.m. on Elm Street.

Friday is Casino Night in the soccer stadium. An admission fee of $5 entitles a person to free food and beer. Blackjack and craps tables and roulette will be set up. Tables open at 7:30 p.m.

"There won't really be any gambling," Zink said. "Everybody will be playing with phony money."

Carnival rides will be running beginning Saturday at 1 p.m. at the soccer stadium. Comedian Paul Rodriguez is scheduled to headline the annual homecoming concert Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Sun Dome.

Tickets for the concert are $5 for USF students and $10 for the public in advance, or $12 at the door.