DeKALB – It’s the 115th annual homecoming week starting Monday in DeKalb, and Northern Illinois University will mark the occasion this year will a new downtown pep rally welcome to all in the community.
Downhome in Downtown DeKalb: A Huskie Homecoming Block Party is set for 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday in and around the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St., according to a news release.
Special guests include NIU President Lisa C. Freeman, DeKalb Mayor Cohen Barnes, NIU football coach Thomas Hammock, the Huskie Marching Band, Victor E. Huskie and Mission along with other Huskie student-athletes, coaches, Athletics Hall of Fame members and alumni. All are expected to march in around 6 p.m. Thursday.
Visitors can belt out the Huskie Fight Song, view and vote on window displays in the nearby storefronts, purchase food and drink (including adult beverages for those age 21 and older) from hometown restaurants, check out a classic car show that also includes police, fire and city vehicles and, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., dance the night away on the street as a DJ spins tunes.
Children of all ages can head inside the Egyptian to see submissions to the Victor E. coloring contest and create their own, snap photographs with the VIPs, collect athlete autographs, get Huskie temporary face tattoos and grab some NIU swag while it lasts.
Beyond the actual Oct. 6 party, 10 local retail and dining establishments will serve as “Huskie Hosts” by offering discounts throughout Homecoming week. The roster includes businesses throughout DeKalb, Sycamore and DeKalb County, such as Jonamac Orchard.
Jennifer Groce, NIU’s director of Community Promotions, and Cortney Strohacker, executive director of the DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau, are the architects of Downhome in Downtown.
For information on the homecoming itinerary, visit niu.edu/homecoming. The event schedule includes the following:
Saturday: Waka Flocka Flame with DJ Whoo Kid will perform at 7 p.m. the Holmes Student Center’s Duke Ellington Ballroom, 600 Lucinda Avenue in DeKalb.
Tuesday, Oct. 4: Deck the downtown at 2 p.m. in Van Buer Plaza on Second Street in downtown.
Thursday, Oct. 6: Naming ceremony for the Peters Campus Life Building dedication at 3 p.m. in the Campus Life Building on NIU campus.
Thursday, Oct. 6: Homecoming Block Party in downtown DeKalb at 5 p.m. on Second Street and Palmer Court.
Friday, Oct. 7: Naming ceremony for the Fannie Ruth Patterson Complex (New Hall) at 3 p.m. at New Hall on NIU campus.
Saturday, Oct. 8: Huskies vs. Toledo homecoming football game at 2:30 p.m. at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.