Pittsburg State University football fans looking for some pre-game fun will have plenty to choose from this year, as the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations prepares for GorillaFest 2009.

GorillaFest, the official PSU tailgate party held before each home game, will kick off the season this Saturday, Aug. 29, at 4 p.m. GorillaFest hosts thousands of fans each season and takes place in Gorilla Village just behind Carnie Smith Stadium.

Nearly as important a tradition as the football game itself, GorillaFest is a celebration featuring food vendors offering traditional game day food, free games for children including hair paints, tattoos, and cutouts of Gus, live music from various local bands, and a pep rally featuring the Pride of the Plains marching band and the PSU cheerleaders and dance team.

“No matter the sport, most people in Pittsburg grow up Gorilla fans,” said Lacey Taylor, assistant director of alumni and constituent relations. “This is a way for people in the community to show their spirit and be a part of the university. There’s something for everyone.”

While many tailgaters take to the parking lots and enjoy food around their vehicles, PSU also offers a tailgate tent for alumni. This Saturday, a tailgate for Crawford County alums will be held at the west shelter house on the east side of the stadium. Food will be served for a charge.

Future GorillaFests offer tailgates for other specific constituent groups, as well as the President’s Chili Challenge, a Polynesian theme for Family Day, and Homecoming festivities. The Sept. 5 tailgate, a pancake feed, is open to the community. The Wilkinson Alumni Center is also open for fans three hours prior to every game.

For more information or to make reservations for the alumni tailgate, contact Whitney Kiesling at wkieslin@pittstate.edu or 620-235-4758.