Guelph’s Homecoming parties started very early Saturday morning.

“First call came in at 9:06 a.m,” says Dave Wiedrick, the manager of bylaw compliance. “It was a noisy party.”

Guelph Police received more than 277 calls for service between 6 a.m and 4 p.m.

Current and former University of Guelph students took a break from the parties mid-afternoon to watch the Gryphons take on the Queens University Gaels. The score was lopsided for most of the game, but the Gaels pulled out a win, finishing with a 33 to 32 victory over the Gryphons.

But even that loss didn’t dampen the spirits of students.

The party moved to Chancellors Way where an estimated 5,000 students, alumni and visitors filled the streets.

Guelph Police and outside security teams attempted to control the crowds.

Dozens of tickets were issued for those walking around with an open bottle of alcohol. They’ll be required to pay a $125 fine. Officers were also ticketing for public intoxication, urination and littering.

Both police and the university were hoping for a quieter celebration this year.

“We don’t condone any behavior that puts personal safety at risk,” says Carrie Chassels, the vice-provost of student affairs.

One issue that has been raised is the “Homecoming circuit.” That’s when young adults, who have no ties to the University, show up just for the parties. They then move on to the next city and next Homecoming celebration.

“I go to Fanshawe,” said one partier. “It’s a pretty good time, coming out.”

Another was in the area, visiting from Australia.

Jeff Deruyter, the city’s chief of police, tweeted that he hopes the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) association  and universities “will address the scheduling of games as this large scale party trend continues to grow across Ontario.”