NIU saddles up for Wild

By Jim Harris

For the next week, NIU will be reminiscent of old TV shows like “Bonanza” and “Gunsmoke”. Horses and hats will be commonplace, and wherever you look, you’ll see a little bit of the days of ranches and ropin‘.

“Wild Wild West” is this year’s theme, and it was decided upon based upon the fact that the football team is a new member of the Big West Conference. Another considering factor in the selection of the theme was LeShon Johnson’s nickname of “Cowboy”.

Jennifer Hutchins, Homecoming coordinator for the Campus Activities Board, said this theme has had a favorable response. Local businesses and on-campus locations can easily paint windows and decorate to this theme. Hutchins said float entries and banners for the parade are impressive, and for the first time in five years, this year’s Homecoming parade will feature floats. As would be expected for a homecoming theme pertaining to the old west, horses and carriages are expected to be featured in the parade, which will take place on at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 16. The parade route will be announced as the event grows nearer.

Homecoming events kicked off in the King Memorial Commons last Friday. Horses stomped about, cheerleaders cheered, cowboy hats were given away and haters of country music suffered, as a DJ from WDEK played nothing but country.

Other early events for Homecoming included midnight volleyball at the Recreation Center on Oct. 9 and a bonfire/pep rally at the West Lagoon Oct. 10. Further events for Homecoming taking place during the week include a series of free concerts in the Commons, Paint-The-Town, sporting events and royalty voting. Two anticipated CAB concerts in the Ellington ballroom, Primus with the Melvins, and Radiohead with Belly, also occur during the week.

Homecoming culminates Oct. 16 with the parade and the Homecoming game, NIU vs. Pacific. After the game, NIU fans can get many laughs at the “Homecoming Comedy Extravaganza” in the music building at 6 p.m. The Radiohead show is also that night.