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'It was good to be back in person' | North Carolina A&T's homecoming impact

School reps say students and alumni showed up in big numbers at the "Greatest Homecoming on Earth" 2021.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — North Carolina A&T and the city of Greensboro welcomed back thousands for the Greatest Homecoming on Earth. 

While events like the parade and Aggie Fan Fest were canceled due to COVID, school reps say students and alumni still showed up in big numbers at this year's homecoming. 

Todd Simmons is the Associate Vice Chancellor for University Relations at North Carolina A&T. He says it felt good to bring people back to key events including the alumni concert, the football game and the step show.

Overall Simmons says more than 40,000 people attended this year's G-HOE, but he says that total doesn't include the thousands of more who came for private parties and unofficial events. 

The step show at the Greensboro Coliseum was the largest crowd the school has ever seen for a step show with a total of 7,000 attendees. 

"They've grown enough in popularity that we had to move it to the coliseum some years ago, and as you can see it's an extraordinary big draw, one of our biggest over the entire week of homecoming," says Simmons. 

He says while it's too soon to know this year's economic impact, he believes this year's homecoming brought in its normal revenue of 10 million dollars. 

We also spoke with the owner of Pizzeria L'italiano, a pizza restaurant in downtown Greensboro, he says he had a lot of people come in this past week and events like homecoming are beneficial. 

"We were extra busy. Everyone seemed to have a good time. Everyone passed through, everyone had fun eating, drinking, going around bar to bar. So, I think overall it was a busy weekend as far as my restaurant's concerned," said Aldo Propisoto.  

RELATED: Greensboro hosts thousands as North Carolina A&T celebrates homecoming weekend

As more vaccinations continue to be distributed, North Carolina A&T reps hope to be back next year with an even greater attendance for GHOE. 

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