SFA freshmen attend the 2009 Back Lot Bash behind William R. Johnson Coliseum. This year's event will be held Thursday, Sept. 2.

The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce and Stephen F. Austin State University will welcome the SFA Class of 2014 at the annual Back Lot Bash Thursday, Sept. 2, behind the William R. Johnson Coliseum.

The event follows SFA Freshman Convocation, which begins at 5 p.m. in the coliseum, and provides an opportunity for local businesses and university and community organizations to share information with the students, many of whom are recent arrivals to Nacogdoches. SFA's six colleges will also be at the Bash to share information about their academic programs.

"Just as in years past, we will have lots of food, prizes, goody bags and other giveaways to welcome the freshman class to our city and introduce them to the various local businesses and organizations," said Jonathan Elder, coordinator of student organizations and Greek life at SFA.

"It is a great opportunity for the students and the community to get to know each other and a great event to kick off the new academic year at SFA."

More than 2,000 incoming freshmen and about 160 businesses and student organizations are expected to participate in the event.

"Each year the number of businesses attending the Back Lot Bash grows," said Michael Preston, director of student affairs. "The comment I routinely hear back is how events like this increase the number of students frequenting their stores and create new loyal customers. I think it helps SFA when our students feel they have great businesses where they can shop and eat. They feel connected, like this is home."

Businesses and organizations wishing to participate in the Back Lot Bash must submit a registration form no later than Sept. 1. The form can be found online at www.gonac.info. There is no charge to participate, but space is limited. Tables and chairs will be provided. For more information, call (936) 468-3703.