Floats and bands fill North Street during the Illinois State University's homecoming parade last year in uptown Normal.


NORMAL — A number of community activities — from Sunday's Reggie Day at Miller Park Zoo to Friday's Hoopfest to the pre-game parade and tailgating — are part of the festivities leading up to Illinois State University's homecoming football game against South Dakota on Oct. 21.

This year's theme is "Building a Legacy."

From 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, ISU mascot Reggie Redbird will be at the zoo meeting fans and posing for pictures. There also will be giveaways.

On Monday, ISU President Larry Dietz and Normal Mayor Chris Koos will flip the switch for red-and-white lights on the trees in uptown Normal. The program will begin at 7 p.m. and include the Big Red Marching Machine and ISU cheerleaders.

Hoopfest will begin at 7 p.m. Friday at Redbird Arena. It's an opportunity to meet the 2017-18 men's and women's basketball teams and hear from their coaches, Dan Muller, last season's Missouri Valley Conference coach of the year, and Kristen Gillespie, who is in her first season as the women's head coach.

Several interactive promotions will be part of Hoopfest. There also will be an autograph session. One fan will be chosen to attempt a halfcourt shot for the chance of winning free Papa John's Pizza for a year.

Doors open at 6 p.m. The homecoming king and queen will be crowned at 6:45 p.m.

The Town and Gown 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run/Walk will start at 8 a.m. Oct. 21 outside the Student Fitness Center and end on the quad.

Online registration is available through 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Participants can register in person at the Alumni Center, 1101 N. Main St., Normal, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, or from 7 to 7:45 a.m. on race day at the Student Fitness Center.

The homecoming parade starts at 10 a.m. Oct. 21 at University Street and College Avenue and ends at School Street near Locust Avenue. Streets along the route include College Avenue, School Street, North Street, Constitution Boulevard and Fell Avenue.

Tailgating lots open at 7 a.m. on game day. Times may vary in the Redbird Tent Zone tailgating area, which will include tents for each college on campus.

Kickoff for the football game against South Dakota will be at 2 p.m. at Hancock Stadium.



Reporter for The Pantagraph.

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