The students of BJU are about to be treated to a good ol’ fashioned Turkey Bowl.

This Saturday at 8 p.m., Alpha will defend its title as last year’s reigning champions against the challenging team Beta in a throwback-style Turkey Bowl featuring live turkey races, Thanksgiving dinner eating contests and hot air balloon rides.

At 7:30 p.m., food trucks from Fuddruckers, Thoroughfare, Circa Doughnuts and The Chocolate Moose will arrive at the Activity Center to begin the feast.

After half time, the Activity Center will officially start hosting games and activities including live art caricatures, balloons animals, cornhole, spikeball and face painting.

Once the soccer game has ended, hot chocolate, cider and coffee will be served, and pie raffles will be held.

The SLC is also hosting an open FIFA video game tournament projected on a big screen for everyone to watch. The matches will be a winner stays type of elimination.

A Board of Thankfulness will also be in the Activity Center where students can post what or whom they are most thankful for this year.

For a quirky twist to the event, Margaret Stegall and Daniel Herr, the ISC directors in charge of event planning for the Turkey Bowl, have arranged for live turkey races.

“We found the idea in notes from old Turkey Bowls and decided to give it a try,” Stegall said.

“The turkeys are coming from a local Greenville farm, and they are sure to be a big attraction.”

Perhaps the most anticipated part of this year’s Turkey Bowl is the hot air balloon.

Sponsored by Majesty Music and manned by Skyscapes of America, the balloon rides will be $5 per ride and will run from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.

“I originally wanted the balloon to deliver the game ball, but having it as an attraction and offering rides to people will be a fun experience for everyone,” Herr said.

The directors declined to comment on how the game ball will actually be delivered, as this is a carefully guarded secret each year.

In the past, limos, helicopters and even skydivers have all been involved.

Stegall said she and Herr are trying to build from last year’s event and make it grow with these new activities and games.

They surveyed hundreds of alumni asking for their favorite memories of Turkey Bowl, and they tried to incorporate all the best ideas while highlighting the focus on intramural sports and just plain old fun.

“It’s nice to have something like the Turkey Bowl, where people recognize society sports,” Stegall said. “We want people to just be able to relax right before Thanksgiving break and hang out together.”