For those of us who live in The Outside of Ordinary oasis that is Champaign County, having the University of Illinois in our backyard inevitably becomes the norm. Word-class performances at Krannert Center become an everyday thing. World-wide cultural diversity inclusive attractions like Spurlock Museum and the Japan House become part of our standard backdrop. We see more and more tech giants look our way in awe, as one of the most powerful pieces of technology in the world is in the university’s possession. For those visiting our area, this aspect of our community is by far the largest attribute to our Outside of Ordinary story. This is also true for The University of Illinois Alumni network who may have moved away since graduation and will be coming back or already are back, for Homecoming. These points of difference that exist right here in our backyard will bring thousands of returning alumni back to their Alma Mater, year after year. Homecoming week is just as much for the residents of this amazing area as it is to the hundreds of thousands to walk across State Farm Center stage on graduation day, as it is a reminder that what we have in our backyard is not ordinary. The University of Illinois with its worldly accolades and achievements is as far from ordinary as it gets. Whether you’re coming back to Chambana for the festivities or you live here, both can join in on the celebration! Here’s some ideas to get you in the Illinois spirit!
Did you know Coach Zuppke was a prolific artist too? All Week, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Coach Zuppke, who is known for being Illinois’ longest serving football coach from 1879-1957, was also an in-demand motivational speaker, syndicated sports writer, co-author of a popular sports comic strip, and an artist! Take a dip to the past and enjoy the intimate artistic works of Coach Zuppke over at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. That’ll for sure get you in the Illini spirit!
Did you see a big name artist at the Assembly Hall back in the day? State Farm Center packs quite a punch too! Dierks Bentley | October 27, 7:30 p.m.; The 1975 | October 28, 8:00 p.m.; Pentatonix | October 29, 7:00 p.m.
We just to happen to have 3 big name performers coming to town during Homecoming week. Intentional? We think so. Whether you get tickets for Dierks Bentley, The 1975, or Pentatonix we’re pretty sure the renovations to the state of the art facility will equally grab your attention if you haven’t been in there yet.
You know how we have the perfect stargazing? Get the best view at the Observatory Open house! October 28, 8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
This late 1800’s construction is one of several university owned buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Even though none of the astronomical instruments are being used for professional research today, it still has a 12 inch Brashear refractor which is greater than any backyard telescope you’ve ever looked through!
Have you seen the University of Illinois through Larry Kanfer’s lens? All Week, Opens at 8:30 a.m.
The iconic Larry Kanfer will have his University of Illinois photography on exhibit at the Illini Union Art Gallery. This exhibit, A Familiar Place, will elicit nostalgia, and even showcase some newer aspects of the university! Larry began his photography career while studying at the University of Illinois where he would photograph prairies and farmlands throughout Central Illinois, which would ultimately become the collection of photography he is now best known for!
What’s Homecoming without a parade? October 28, 6:00 p.m.
If you’re coming back to the area for Homecoming you simply cannot miss the parade! Tatyana McFadden is the grand marshal this year, and rightfully so! We had the McFever all summer long during the Summer Olympics and can’t imagine a more perfect marshal for this exciting event!
Of course we didn’t forget about ILLINI FOOTBALL! October 29, 11:00 a.m.
We have a feeling you’re pretty pumped for the Lovie Smith acquisition, because this area LOVES LOVIE! What’s Illini Football without the perfect tailgate? You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you see the lot in front of Grange Grove spewing all things orange, along with the friendly smiles and cheers from some of the greatest Illini Fans around! Let’s gather and cheer on the Illini as they take on Minnesota!
For a complete list of happenings in the area while you're either visiting or celebrating as a resident check out our events calendar. Oh and one more thing. GO ILLINI!