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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

116th Homecoming gets ready to kick off

A classic Mustang drives down a road taking part in the 2022 homecoming parade. Homecoming will include events hosted by the university as well as local businesses. (Northern Star File Photo)

DeKALB – The Huskie pack is on the move this week as NIU prepares for its homecoming week of celebration.

NIU, student organizations and local DeKalb businesses will host events until Oct. 15 to celebrate NIU’s 116th homecoming.

Homecoming week will officially start with Homecoming Kick Off from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday in the MLK Commons. Lawn games, tailgate-themed food and decorations for campus offices will be available. 

Winners for the “Paint the Windows” event where student organizations painted windows on Saturday and Sunday at the Holmes Student Center, will be chosen during the kick off and given $600 of event funding credit. 

From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Lincoln Highway between First Street and Third Street will be closed down for the homecoming block party. The party will include food trucks, a classic car show, a kids zone, music by the band Rockin’ Moxie, a pep rally with NIU football coach Thomas Hammock and a parade.

The “March of the Huskies” parade will begin at 6 p.m. during the block party. The parade route is contained to the closed off section of Lincoln Highway.

Businesses on Lincoln Highway such as Keg and Kernel, Barb City Bagels, Robin’s Nest Bookshoppe and more will be offering discounts through homecoming. Businesses outside of the block party on Lincoln Highway, like Domino’s Pizza and Michaels, will also be taking part.

These businesses, dubbed “Huskie Hosts,” will offer discounts to customers Monday through Sunday as part of homecoming celebration.

Dates for discounts vary through the week with some stores offering discounts through the week of homecoming and others offering only during the day of the block party. Discounts for students range from flat rates and percentages off items to specials, depending on the business. 

Full details on the homecoming block party events, Huskie Hosts and discounts can be found on the NIU’s website under Celebrate in Downtown DeKalb.

Amy Anderson, general manager of Keg and Kernel, is excited to be part of the festivities and to have a chance to be part of the event.

“We’re just glad to welcome everybody into town. Hopefully they’ll come join us at some point during the week- or multiple times if they want,” Anderson said.

The block party will feature the unveiling of a statue at 6:15 p.m. on S. Second Street and Lincoln Highway. A statue of Victor E. Huskie will have permanent residence in downtown DeKalb.

At 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Thursday, the Holmes Student Center will have “A Night at Holmes,” featuring activities like casino games, silent headphone roller disco and a dance party. All are welcome at this event.

A special event, “Pizza, Paint and Sip” with local artist Chelsea McGhee will also be available during “A Night at Holmes”.  Participants can choose from six pre-sketched Huskie-themed designs and paint it. Pizza and beverages – alcoholic and non-alcoholic – will be available. Registration “Pizza, Paint and Sip” is required through NIU’s Alumni Association website.

An alcohol tasting from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday will be held at Jonamac Orchard, 19412 Shabbona Road. Tasters 21 and older will be given Huskie-themed cocktails made from local alcohol vendors: Jonamac Orchard, Whisky Acres Distillery, Byers Brewing Co. and Waterman Winery and Vineyards, Inc according to Jonamac Orchard.

Jonamac Orchard  activities like apple picking, a corn maze and performance by Genoa musician Wally Mulso will be available for all ages. Food will be catered by Keg and Kernel. Registration is recommended for larger groups.

From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 13, the MLK Commons will be host to the “Huskies S’mores N’more Campfire.” The bonfire will include games, food trucks and music.

The penultimate event to the week’s festivities will be an outdoor brunch held at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 14 at Altgeld Hall. Mission III and Victor E. Huskie will be in attendance and available for pictures. Registration is required.

Capping off the week will be the Homecoming football game at 3 p.m. Oct. 14 at Huskie Stadium. NIU Huskies (2-4, 1-1 MAC) will be facing off against the Ohio Bobcats (5-1, 2-0 MAC)

Various departments will also hold events celebrating homecoming. These events include fundraisers, game tailgates, karaoke, reunions, competitions, tours and workshops. Events will take place between Oct. 8 and Oct. 15.

A full list of events and their hosts can be found on the NIU Homecoming events calendar.

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