NIU prepares for ‘community celebration’

By Dana Netzel

As NIU prepares for the 1989 Homecoming celebration the “Spirit Comes Alive” for the city of DeKalb and NIU alumni. “It should be a community celebration,” said University Programming and Activities Director Renee Esgar.

The “only thing (the) city does is assist with parade planning,” said DeKalb City Manager Sue Lehto. The street department puts up barricades and the police department directs traffic, she said.

“Hopefully, businesses will get involved with the parade,” Esgar said.

The businesses as a group don’t participate in special promotions, but individual stores might. Downtown businesses are still part of Homecoming because many alumni “come back to see the people they know in the stores,” said Alice Fry, chairman of Steering Committee for Downtown Business Associates.

opefully, the entire community gets involved either by being in the parade or watching it, Esgar said. The parade, which begins at 10 a.m., travels through downtown DeKalb. It starts at North Third street, then moves west on Lincoln Highway, on to Normal Road past the Holmes Student Center and west on Lucinda, where it ends at Chick Evans Fieldhouse.

Community members and officials featured in the parade are Alumni Association President Dick Boardman, Fry, DeKalb Mayor Greg Sparrow, the DeKalb fire and police departments and “Foot Stompers,” the community square dancers.

Before the parade, the Elks Club on First Street and Lincoln Highway is sponsoring a pancake breakfast. The funds received will be given to service groups, Esgar said.

“Paint the town” is another activity involving the city of DeKalb, but NIU students are invited to participate. Student organizations can paint windows that businesses donate, Esgar said. The list of businesses participating will be available later this week. Organizations can bring their name and “we’ll supply the store fronts,” Fry said.

NIU is in the middle of the community and “the town is full of people,” Fry said. If community members would like to get involved, they can call Esgar at the University Programming and Activities Office.