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Lambs To Guard The Lion Friday Night

In a strange turn of events, the Lambs will guard the Lion Friday night as Lion Ambassadors put on the annual “Guard the Lion Shrine” Homecoming event. ROTC volunteers will be on duty to guard the shrine leading up to Penn State’s clash with Michigan State for the 99th Homecoming game.

Last year’s Guard the Lion Shrine expanded into a festival-like atmosphere with activities and food vendors, and after an impressive turnout this year should be no different. After the Homecoming parade, from 8-11 p.m. Friday, October 12, the Lion Shrine will be surrounded by live music, free food provided by Packer’s Concessions, and various games and activities.

Sue Paterno is largely responsible for the beginning of the tradition of guarding the shrine. She and a friend covered the famous statue in orange paint ahead of the 1966 Homecoming game against Syracuse. They hoped to hype up the game, and since the paint could easily be washed off, there was no real harm done.

However, a group of Syracuse fans later covered the Lion in an oil-based orange paint, which was much more difficult to remove. They were never identified or caught for this, so this popular Penn State tradition was born to help protect the famous shrine.

A highlight of the annual event is hearing Paterno herself tell the story of that fateful Homecoming weekend.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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