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Columbia businesses shape Homecoming celebrations for alumni and fans

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mizzou chapter.

The most anticipated weekend of the year is here – Mizzou Homecoming. From Oct. 20 to the 23, the streets of Columbia will be filled with friendly rivalry, spirited alums and excited football fans. While the main event of the weekend is undoubtedly the football game against the South Carolina Gamecocks, former tigers returning to their roots and students alike will have their hot spots to visit when they come home.

From favorite campus study spots to the best gameday bar, each tiger has their special place in CoMo. Her Campus talked to workers in the Columbia service industry to uncover the best places to spend Homecoming weekend.

University of Missouri graduate Peyton Boudouris has been a server at The Heidelberg for two years. As the daughter of two Mizzou alumni, Boudouris grew up going to “The Berg,” so it was the obvious choice for her place of work when it came time for her to seek employment. 

“I just love The Berg,” Boudouris says. “It’s such a Mizzou classic staple. It’s always been here, it will be here for a really long time.”

Any game day spent at The Heidelberg is a good one, Boudouris says. Families, students, Mizzou faculty and more line up to watch the tigers face off while enjoying comfort food and a drink of choice. 

“Seeing all the generations in the same spot on a game day is really, really fun,” Boudouris says. “A normal weekend is really fun and it’s usually energetic, but when it comes to Homecoming, the energy is electric. The morale is just lifted. Everybody is so excited to be there and there’s always a line out the door.”

Further down 9th Street sits “The Missouri Bar,” Harpo’s. University of Missouri senior Ethan Kirchberg works as a bartender and media manager at the infamous college town bar. After two and half years of being a Harpo’s employee, he also noticed energy in their on game days and during Homecoming weekend. 

“On Homecoming, the vibe of Harpo’s completely changes,” Kirchberg says. “People come in and exchange stories from being here in the past, and love to see the new changes that we bring every year… we offer an authentic game day environment for anyone. You can really feel the energy here on game days, especially Homecoming.”

On the other side of downtown Columbia is another crowd-favorite: Shiloh Bar & Grill. Known for their spacious patio, this is another popular choice for tiger fans to watch the game. 

University of Missouri senior Laney Tvrdik is a server and bartender at Shiloh. She said Homecoming is the busiest day of the year for the restaurant, providing a unique environment that elevates the game day experience. 

“You can always come to Shiloh during these busy times and run into someone you know,” Tvrdik says. “It is an essential game day spot, as all the workers truly care about our business and our customers, and, much like everyone else, we want to have fun and celebrate the ongoing tradition.”

Homecoming is infamous for uniting tigers spanning generations, both on and off campus. Columbia businesses play a role in shaping that celebration: whether it is the classic charm of The Berg, the buzzing atmosphere of Harpo’s or the community spirit of Shiloh, there is a spot for everyone to cheer on their favorite team. 

Shannon Worley, a first-year writer for Her Campus Media at Mizzou, is a journalist with a commitment to meaningful, honest storytelling. She strives to be people-focused and connection-driven in her reporting. Before coming to Her Campus, Shannon's journalism journey brought her to West Newsmagazine, Stroll Magazine, The Maneater, Fortune Magazine, Vox Magazine and KMOV-TV. Through these opportunities, Shannon has ventured into diverse realms of reporting, covering topics spanning arts and culture, investigations and social justice. Shannon is excited to continue to tell the stories of Columbians from the Her Campus platform. Reach out with any news tips at shannonworley@mail.missouri.edu.