A weeklong series of events in celebration of Homecoming 2008 at Eastern Illinois University will once again culminate with a fun-filled day of activities, including an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, a 2.5K race and a parade, on Saturday, Oct. 18.
Early risers can start the day off with a warm meal, courtesy of the Charleston Rotary Club and EIU Homecoming Committee. Serving for the ninth annual pancake breakfast will take place from 6:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Domino's Pizza, located at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Seventh Street. Prices are $6 for adults and $3 for children under 10. The menu includes pancakes, sausage, orange juice, milk and coffee.
All proceeds from the breakfast will go to support local Rotary projects, as well as Rotary International's efforts to eradicate polio.
Well-fed individuals can then cheer their favorite athletes on as they participate in the ninth annual EIU/Charleston 2.5K (1.5-mile) Homecoming race, which begins at 9 a.m. Runners/walkers will begin at the corner of Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue, make their way north on Seventh Street to the Charleston Square, then return to EIU's Old Main via Sixth Street.
Runners may register from 7:45 until 8:45 a.m. in EIU's Old Main (the "Castle") the day of the race. The entry fee is $9. Awards will be given to the first-place male and female in each category (run, walk and wheelchair). In addition, McDonald's will provide a gift pack, food and drink to all racers after the event.
More than 100 entries are expected to follow the same route as the race when Eastern's 2008 Homecoming parade begins at 9:30 a.m. On-lookers will see the traditional parade floats, as well as the EIU marching band and Pink Panthers, walking floats, decorated cars and more, representing this year's Homecoming theme, "Rock 'n' Roll, Pop 'n' Soul."
Bill Hill, Charleston's Citizen of the Year, will serve as grand marshal. High school bands from Charleston, Cumberland, Paris and Stewardson-Strasburg are also expected to participate.
The annual Homecoming football game, in which the EIU Panthers host Southeast Missouri, begins at 1:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased the day of the game at O'Brien Stadium at a cost of $15 for adults, $13.50 for senior citizens, and $5 for children. EIU students will be admitted free at Gate 1 with their Panther Card ID.
Football fans are invited to arrive early and show their Panther Pride at this year's Tent City, where representatives and alumni from each of Eastern's colleges will be gathered to renew old friendships. This event, scheduled to officially begin at 11:30 a.m., will be located behind O'Brien Stadium, and is open to all.
Earlier events occurring during Homecoming week include a pep rally featuring the Jesse White Tumblers at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, in Lantz Arena. Community members are also invited to come and cheer on the EIU Panthers. Admission is free.
Other EIU Homecoming 2008 events are also planned:
For up-to-date information on all of these events, plus other events open to the general public on EIU's campus, please see http://www.eiu.edu/calendar/events/.