Although the theme for this year’s Eastern Illinois University Homecoming celebration is “Oh, The Places You’ll Go at EIU,” the place to be this Saturday will be right here in Charleston.
A week-long series of Homecoming events will culminate with a fun-filled day of activities, including the annual pancake breakfast and the traditional parade.
Early risers can start the day off with a warm meal, courtesy of the Charleston Rotary Club. Serving will take place from 6:30 to 11:30 a.m. for the organization's sixth 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 $5 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.
Well-fed individuals can then cheer their favorite athletes on as they participate in the sixth annual 2.5K (1.5 miles) 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. at the corner of Seventh and Lincoln, with an entry fee set at $7. Awards will be given to first-, second- and third-place male and female (run) and first-place male and female (walk and wheelchair). In addition, McDonald's will provide a gift pack brunch for all racers after the race, as well as food coupons.
Approximately 100 entries are expected to follow the same route as the race when Eastern's 2005 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, EIU ROTC, walking floats, decorated cars and more.
The annual Homecoming game, in which the EIU Panthers host Eastern Kentucky, begins at 1:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased the day of the game at O'Brien Stadium at a cost of $13 for adults, with discounts for senior citizens and youngsters. EIU students will be admitted free with their Panther Card ID.
Other events occurring during Eastern's 89 th Homecoming week include a pep rally at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, inside Lantz Arena. Community members are invited to come and cheer on the EIU Football Panthers and Coach Bob Spoo. The two-and-a-half-hour event also will include performances by the EIU Pep Band, the EIU Cheer Team and the Pink Panthers, among others. Admission is free and open to the public.