FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Today kicks off the start of homecoming festivities for University of Arkansas students, alumni, and local businesses.

Jimmie Cooke is one of the managers at the Campus Bookstore.

“It’s nice to have the Hogs back on the hill,” said Cooke.

With homecoming festivities in full swing, he says for them this is the busiest time of the year.

“We are very excited. It’s been a long month with no home games here in Fayetteville,” said Cooke.

Cooke says when the Hogs are away, business is slow. “It has impacted sales here. When the team’s gone for a month, there’s not the influx of people,” said Cooke.

But when they’re in town, he says they see a jump in energy and sales.

“Already this week we’re seeing folks coming through. People are excited. They’re ready to cheer on the Razorbacks for sure,” said Cooke.

Brandy Jackson is the Executive Director of the Arkansas Alumni Association.

“I think one of the things is homecoming has always been such a fundamental thing for a university,” said Jackson.

She says this is also the season for alumni and students to build relationships. As for alumni events, she says they’re expecting more than 300 people.

“We have a festival in the mall. We have a pep rally. We’re having fireworks for the first time, a 15-minute fireworks show we’re really excited about as well as offering a men’s basketball game,” said Jackson.

Kevin Trainor is a public relations officer at the University of Arkansas. He says the university expects more than 72,000 fans to attend Saturday’s game against Mississippi State. Combining that with more than 30,000 students on campus, Jackson says there’s more than enough event for everyone to enjoy.

“So many choices and opportunities for our alumni to engage on campus and for our students to engage in this very special time of year,” said Jackson.