Party on the Plaza!

Take aim, Mountaineer football fans. West Virginia University and The Dominion Post are "throwing" a party.

It's the sixth annual "Welcome to Touchdown City" Fan Fest on Friday, Aug. 30, at 7:30 p.m. on the Mountainlair Plaza, featuring Mountaineer Head Coach Rich Rodriguez, the 2002 senior players and a chance for 10 lucky people to each win $100,000.

The free public event, sponsored by the The Dominion Post, the Mountaineer Maniacs and the WVU Student Government Association, is traditionally held the night before the home opener. WVU kicks off the season hosting Tennessee-Chattanooga at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31.

"We are extremely excited that Coach Rodriguez is coming to the Touchdown City rally and bringing all the seniors," said Chris Gregory, SGA president. "We want students and the Morgantown community to come out and show the coach and players we are behind them all the way."

Gregory said the coach has a surprise or two up his sleeve for those who attend.

"You don't want to miss it," Gregory said. "Coach Rod is really fired up about the prospects for a winning season. It's going to be a great way to get things started."

This year's event will also debut a contest called the "Cash Crazy Quarterback Challenge," sponsored by The Dominion Post and WVU, in which the names of 10 people who attend Fan Fest will be chosen randomly for a chance to win $100,000 in a football throw contest. Registration for the contest will be held that evening from 6-7:30 p.m. on the Mountainlair Plaza.

The winner of The Dominion Post's and WVU's Extreme Fan Contest will also be announced. Fans still have a chance to register to win dinner for four with Coach Rodriguez, two tickets to the WVU-Tennessee-Chattanooga football game and other prizes. Check the ad in The Dominion Post for details.

In addition, the Mountaineer Marching Band, cheerleaders and Mountaineer mascot Trey Hinrichs will be on hand with musical favorites and cheers.

The student booster organization known as the Mountaineer Maniacs will be registering student members and handing out T-shirts to those who sign up.

The group, formed in 1999, sits together in 50-yard-line seats at home football games, offers bus trips to away games and other benefits.

Gold and blue pom-poms and "doo rags" will be handed out while supplies last.

Fan Fest will take place, rain or shine. If it rains, the event will be moved indoors to the Mountainlair ballrooms.

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