WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Large crowds are expected in Winston-Salem this weekend as Winston-Salem State University and Wake Forest University hold their homecoming weekend celebrations.
People can expect to see more traffic around the city and on both campuses. Local law enforcement says officials are prepared to ensure the events stay safe.
WSSU Campus police said there will be an increased presence of officers on campus as the university plans to see around 10,000 people coming to its events over the next few days.
“It’s going to be an increased amount of security and officers that will be doing foot patrols and residence hall checks and things of that nature to ensure that our campus community is safe,” WSSU Police Chief Amir Henry said.
Several of WSSU’s homecoming events are sold out with this being the first homecoming full of events in four years due to the pandemic and weather concerns.
Henry said his officers have completed several safety trainings leading up to homecoming.
“We’re telling our students to make sure that they’re keeping their phone with stars just in case they need to make a call for assistance. If you leave as a group, come back as a group, and if you’re crossing MLK, make sure you’re using the crosswalks and obeying the traffic signs,” Henry said.
He said they have been communicating with Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and Winston-Salem Police Department ahead of this weekend.
The WSPD says it has been working with surrounding agencies to prepare adequately for the upcoming homecoming events at WFU and WSSU.
They are encouraging drivers to seek alternative routes this weekend and are advising if you must travel in areas near either university, to be patient as heavy traffic is expected.
In a statement provided to FOX8 the WSPD said, “We always work hard to prepare for large events like these, so our residents feel safe amidst the celebrations.”
“This is the biggest week of the year for you … It’s an exciting time,” Henry said. “We’re expecting to see all of our alum students, faculty and staff and some visitors. So we just want to see them enjoying all the festivities that Winston-Salem State has to offer.”
WFU did not have anyone available to speak with me today about campus law enforcement for homecoming.
Another area university is expected to draw crowds to the triad with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro also holding its homecoming in Greensboro this weekend.