Organizers of Eastern Illinois University's 2009 Homecoming parade plan to alter the route for this year's event, providing a "wonderful mix of tradition and new beginnings."
In an effort to better promote school spirit and increase community involvement, the parade will represent a blending of previous EIU homecomings and the city of Charleston 's Independence Day parade route.
"Eastern is excited about the improvements to this year's HC parade route, as it represents a fine example of the university and the city of Charleston coming together in the true spirit of community for one of EIU's oldest traditions," said Ceci Brinker, director of Student Life.
As is customary, the parade, which starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, will begin at the intersection of Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue, travel north to Monroe Avenue, west on Monroe to Sixth Street, then south on Sixth.
Parade participants will then turn west onto Polk Avenue until they reach Division Street. Heading south on Division, they will cross Lincoln and head for Grant Avenue (a.k.a., Panther Way ), winding up at the tailgate area at O'Brien Stadium.
The revised route has been approved by both city officials and EIU constituencies.
As the newly expanded parade route will include Morton Park, community members are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs for a safe and relaxing view of the creative floats and other parade entries. Additionally, family activities will be provided at the park from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The new route was chosen after months of discussion between the city and EIU. It is believed the change will further enhance the safety and welfare of parade participants, assist in alleviating traffic congestion and flow, and increase community involvement.
For information about registering as an entry in the 2009 EIU Homecoming Parade, please contact the Office of Student Programs at 217-581-3829 or go online at http://www.eiu.edu/homecoming . The deadline for community registration is Friday, Oct. 2, and "Back to Blue" is the theme of this year's homecoming.
A series of related events will take place Oct. 12-17. Watch for details!