October 04, 2018

Football, tailgating, block party, Jason Seaman and more on tap for SIU’s 2018 Homecoming

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale will celebrate the indomitable Saluki spirit during 2018 homecoming festivities Oct. 14-20.

The week is packed with activities for all ages. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members are encouraged to join in the merriment. “Saluki Gras: From Bourbon Street to Saluki Row” is the theme and the grand marshal is Jason Seaman, an alumnus and former Saluki defensive lineman whose heroism saved the lives of his students at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana earlier this year.

The party starts with a kickoff proclamation event

The fun begins with an official proclamation, to be issued at 11:50 a.m. during the homecoming kickoff. The kick-off event takes place at the north entrance of the Student Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 15. Join SIU and city officials for the proclamation signing, complete with confetti cannons, bead necklaces, Mardi Gras-style masks and pizza for students.

Those planning to participate include: Jerry Kill, former SIU football coach/special assistant to chancellor Carlo Montemagno and acting athletics director; Nick Hill, Saluki football coach, Carbondale Mayor John “Mike” Henry; Leroy Jones, SIU’s Student Programming Council homecoming director; and homecoming court candidates.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the big SIU homecoming kickoff proclamation ceremony at 11:50 a.m. on Oct. 15 at the north entrance of the Student Center. Numerous campus and community dignitaries will be participating. Media are also welcome to cover the block party, homecoming parade and other homecoming activities. For more information, visit www.homecoming.siu.edu or contact Carly James at cdjames@siu.edu or 618/453-6097.

Inaugural block party set for Oct. 18

A new event, a block party extraordinaire, is coming to Homecoming 2018 and everyone is invited. The Saluki Gras Block Party, happening from 5 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 18, is a festive evening of fun, games and music. The family friendly happening takes place on Lincoln Drive in front of Pulliam Hall.

A wide variety of refreshment options will be available for purchase by all who attend and also free in limited amounts on a first-come, first-served basis for SIU students. You’ll find everything from ice-cream, sno-cones and funnel cakes to pizza, bagels and cotton candy.

The carnival-style evening will be packed with music, games, rides and numerous things to see and do.

SIU alumni will enjoy special perks, too.

Pep rally, parade and Saluki Spirit Crew add excitement

There will be a homecoming pep rally from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 19 on Faner Plaza. It’s your chance to meet members of the football team, homecoming court, members of the SIU Alumni Association’s national board of directors, and perennial fan favorites Grey Dawg and Brown Dawg.

Community members are welcome. SIU students can also enjoy free pizza and giveaways.

Parade begins at 10 a.m. Oct. 20

The 2018 Homecoming parade begins at 10 a.m. on Oct. 20 through the streets of Carbondale. Floats, bands, beads, candy and some special guests will be participating. The Saluki Spirit Crew, a select group of nearly 50 spirited high school students representing about two-dozen schools in the region, will be featured in the parade. They’ll also be recognized during the game and enjoy special activities on campus that day.

Turning the focus toward football

Homecoming pre-game tailgating kicks off at 11 a.m. on the famed Saluki Row.

The SIU Alumni Association is also hosting the Saluki Cellar-Bration from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for alumni and association members. Featuring beverages and Saluki Gras-themed items, it’s sponsored by The Cellar, Shawnee Hills Wine Trail and Rendelman Orchards, and gives alumni a chance to have a good time and reconnect.

Register online for the Class of ’68 reunion, the alumni band, or the Cellar-Bration.

Then, the Salukis take on the Indiana State University Sycamores in gridiron action at 2 p.m.

The halftime show will also feature a performance including alumni members of the Marching Salukis and other SIU bands.

Much more planned

Preparations have been underway for months in anticipation of SIU’s homecoming. In recent weeks, volunteers have been decorating business windows in conjunction with a “Paint the Town Maroon” initiative and the community is also festooned with new SIU banners. Various offices and units around campus have also shown their Saluki spirit by participating in the homecoming door decorating competition.

A wide variety of activities are planned throughout the week, including homecoming royalty elections, a dodgeball tournament, casino night, the RSO Homecoming Food Drive, a comedy show, blood drive, Class of 1968 50-year reunion, Alpha Phi Alpha Step Show, Alumni Band group reunion and game performance, the SIU Alumni Association’s Saluki Cellar-bration and alumni campus tours.