With thousands of West Virginia University alumni and fans descending upon Glendale, Ariz., for the 2008 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, WVU President Mike Garrison has invited everyone to participate in the activities scheduled prior to the game.

This is an excellent opportunity to show our Mountaineer pride and to cheer the team to victory over the Oklahoma Sooners,Garrison said.

WVU and the WVU Alumni Association have announced numerous activities for alumni traveling to the area for the big game.

Our Mountaineers have always had an extremely loyal fan base, and this year is no exception,said Steve Douglas, president and chief executive officer of the WVU Alumni Association.We are pleased to once again partner with the University, as well as local businesses in the Glendale area, to offer Mountaineers a unique fan experience. I think those individuals making their way to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will have an absolutely wonderful time.

The 37th annual Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade will be held in Central Phoenix on Saturday, Dec. 29 starting at 11 a.m. Each year thousands of spectators line the two-mile Parade route in central Phoenix to witness a dazzling array of colorful floats, magnificent helium balloons, harmonious marching bands and spirited specialty and equestrian units. There is no cost to attend. A copy of the parade route can be downloaded athttp://www.fiestabowl.org/pdf2/90740.pdf?ATCLID=520414&SPSID=46030&SPID=4135&DB_OEM_ID=10200. (NoteThe Pride of West Virginia is not scheduled to participate in the Fiesta Bowl Parade)
p. On Tuesday, Jan. 1, WVU and the WVU Alumni Association will host theMountaineer Connectionat Gardunos of Scottsdalethe Valley of the Suns premier Mexican restaurant as voted by the New Times Peoples Choice Awards and Ranking Arizona. The event will run from noon to 8 p.m. and will include Mountaineer highlights; an appearance by the WVU Pep Band, Mountaineer Brady Campbell and WVU cheerleaders; a live broadcast of the West VirginiaStatewide Sportsline, featuring play-by-play announcer Tony Caridi; rotating bowl giveaways provided throughout the day (limited in quantity); and much more. The”Mountaineer Connection”is sponsored by Chesapeake Energy, Coca-Cola, United Bank and Verizon.

Alumni and friends of WVU also can enjoy the Tostitos Fiesta BowlsCollege Football’s Biggest PartyWednesday, Jan. 2, at the Glendale Youth Sports Complex at University of Phoenix Stadium. The event includes a pep rally featuringThe Pride of West Virginia, WVU cheerleaders and Mountaineer mascot. Fans are encouraged to stop by the WVU tent at the complex to pick up their Mountaineer fan gameday giveaway (limited in quantity). The party, which runs from noon to 5 p.m., also features interactive games, concessions and WVU video highlights on the Jumbotron. Tickets, which include a plated meal, are $20 per person and can be purchased online athttp://www.fiestabowl.org/.

In addition to the fan events, visitors also can participate in the Insight Fiesta Bowl New Years EveBlock Partyin Tempe Monday, Dec. 31. The event, located at Tempe Beach Park, is Arizonas largest New Years celebration and includes more than 40 live bands and entertainers, including the Barenaked Ladies. For more information on this event, visithttp://www.insightbowl.org/.

Alumni and friends not traveling to the bowl game can visit WVU BowlSpace (http://bowlgame.wvu.edu/)an interactive Web site where Mountaineer fans can post their favorite WVU photos, show support for the team, share stories of home and, of course, read about the latest Fiesta Bowl activities and events, including blogs from students and alumni.

For more information on the events listed above, visithttp://bowlgame.wvu.edu/fan_events.

The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl game will be played Wednesday, Jan. 2. The game will be televised on Fox. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.

The WVU Alumni Association, chartered in 1873, represents more than 170,000 University graduates residing in every county in West Virginia, every state in the union and approximately 60 foreign nations. With nearly 100 registered chapters and constituent groups, the associations 26,000 dues-paying members support Homecoming weekend, the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni, mentoring programs and dozens of other social and philanthropic programs. For more information about the WVU Alumni Association, visithttp://alumni.wvu.edu.