A weeklong series of events in celebration of Homecoming 2007 at Eastern Illinois University will 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. 20.
Early risers can start the day off with a warm meal, courtesy of the Charleston Rotary Club. Serving will take place from 6 a.m. to noon for the organization's eighth annual all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast 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 ages 12 and under, and the menu includes pancakes, sausage, orange juice and coffee. Tickets may be purchased at the "door" or in advance from any Rotary Club member.
All proceeds from the breakfast will go to the Rotary Club's "I Like Me" literacy/self-esteem project, which provides personalized books to all kindergarteners in the Charleston school district.
Well-fed individuals can then cheer their favorite athletes on as they participate in the eighth 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 entry fee is $7. 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. EIU will award prizes for best costumes, families/groups of four or more, and youngest participant.
More than 100 entries are expected to follow the same route as the race when Eastern's 2007 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, "Lights, Camera, Action!" EIU President Bill Perry will serve as grand marshal.
The annual Homecoming football game, in which the EIU Panthers host Tennessee-Martin, begins at 1:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased the day of the game at O'Brien Stadium at a cost of $14 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, and $10 for children. EIU students will be admitted free with their Panther Card ID.
Football fans are also invited to show their Panther Pride at this year's tailgate event, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the O'Brien Stadium parking lot. The pre-game kick-off activities, featuring food, games, music, giveaways and a kids' corner, are planned for EIU students, faculty/staff, alumni and the Charleston community.
Earlier events occurring during Homecoming week include a pep rally at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, in Lantz Arena. Community members are also invited to come and cheer on the EIU Panthers. Efron Ramirez, better known as "Pedro" from the movie "Napoleon Dynamite," will serve as master of ceremonies. Admission is free, and open to the public.
Other EIU Homecoming 2007 events are also planned:
Homecoming Coronation Ceremony, 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, Lantz Arena.
Punt, Pass and Kick Competition, 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, Softball Fields.
Family Movie Night, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, Will Rogers Theater, 705 Monroe Ave., Charleston. Movie-goers will have their choice of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" or "The Sandlot."
"Bleed Blue" Blood Drive, 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, Andrews Hall.
Family Fun Night, 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, on the South Quad. This evening of family entertainment will feature a campus picnic, Bingo, inflatables, games, prizes and giveaways.
Yell Like Hell! and Who Wants to be a Mascot? Competitions, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, Lantz Arena.
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/pubaff/calendar.php.