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CHARLESTON -- Eastern Illinois University is gearing up for next week’s 2018 Homecoming festivities, and university members are inviting its community members, alumni, friends and supporters to participate in the annual event at celebrations across a variety of locations on campus, 600 Lincoln Ave., Charleston.

Weeklong events include a Spirit Cup Competition as various areas and organizations across campus decorate and celebrate; a ‘Paint the Town and Campus Blue!’ campaign to rally community for their support; Billy the Panther visits to area schools; and ‘Paws for a Cause,’ a campus-community fund drive and relief effort supporting Charleston-based charities.

In addition, many of EIU’s 2018 Homecoming festivities will offer prizes and giveaways.

Daily events begin Monday with a Rush Hour on the Library Quad from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday will feature “Golf Cart Trivia” as the Prowl Patrol offers its version of “Cash Cab” on campus featuring EIU trivia. On Wednesday, Eastern will offer a Blue-B-Que Faculty/Staff Appreciation Luncheon and a Glow Bowling Mixer with mocktails, appetizers, bowling and bingo at the Union Bowling Alley from 7 to 9 p.m.

Thursday will see another Rush Hour on the Library Quad from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. And on Friday, Alumni Services will host the 50th Class Reunion for the Class of 1968 with a 4 p.m. tour, a 5 p.m. social hour, and a 6 p.m. dinner ceremony in the Union’s University Ballroom. Homecoming coronation and a pep rally will be held later that evening, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the south end of McAfee Gymnasium.

By Saturday, Oct. 20, Eastern Illinois Homecoming will be in full swing. A full Saturday of events is planned, and includes:

  • The Rotary Pancake Breakfast from 6:30 to 10 a.m. in the Dirty’s Restaurant parking lot, just east of Old Main.
  • The 19th Annual Homecoming 2.5K Race begins at 9 a.m. with participants of all ages from the EIU and Charleston communities involved. Sponsored by the City of Charleston Tourism Department with EIU’s Department of Recreation Administration Festivals & Special Events class, prizes and awards will be given to the top-place finishers in each division. More information at http://www.eiu.edu/homecoming/race.php.
  • EIU’s 2018 Homecoming Parade begins at 9:30 a.m. The EIU Homecoming Parade is an annual tradition with over 100 campus and community entries consisting of floats, bands and decorated cars that will process through town, ending at the tailgate area of O’Brien Stadium. More information at http://www.eiu.edu/homecoming/parade.php.
  • Alumni Tent City will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the O’Brien Field Tailgate Area. Food and beverages, compliments of the EIU Alumni Association, will be served.
  • The 2018 Homecoming Game pits the EIU Panthers against Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee-Martin at 2 p.m. at O’Brien Field. Students and community members will pack the stands with blue to support the EIU football team and earn opportunities to win free prizes. Game tickets are available at http://www.eiupanthertickets.com/ or at the gate. Adult tickets are $20 each with discounts offered for youths, high school students, senior citizens, and EIU faculty and staff.
  • The 2018 Alumni Awards Dinner will begin with a 6 p.m. cocktail reception and a 7 p.m. awards dinner in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. The dinner will honor 10 EIU alumni for their outstanding achievements. Tickets are $30 a person and can be ordered at http://www.eiu.edu/alumni/event_register.php?event=160. Awards recipient biographies also are available at http://www.eiu.edu/alumni/.

A full listing of additional events for students, faculty and staff, community members and EIU alumni is available at http://www.eiu.edu/homecoming/index.php.

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