For the first time, the Illinois Homecoming celebration will include a community night in downtown Champaign. In collaboration with the Chancellors’ Committee to Support Homecoming, 40 North will host a special “Thursday Night Live” on October 7 from 5:00–7:00 p.m.
“We want this to be a really special night in downtown Champaign, celebrating the community and the University of Illinois,” says Kelly White, Executive Director of 40 North. “Bringing in local artists and bands and providing community members with a free and fun way to take part in Illinois Homecoming truly speaks to campus and community collaboration.”
40 North, the Champaign County Arts Council, is planning the event alongside the University of Illinois Alumni Association, bringing together local bands and artists to create a vibrant atmosphere in the downtown district prior to the weekend festivities.
“We are thrilled to bring the excitement of Illinois Homecoming off campus and into the Champaign-Urbana community,” states Jennifer Dillavou, President of the University of Illinois Alumni Association. “It’s important to recognize the role of the community in the lives of students and alumni during their time on campus, and there’s no better time to celebrate and uplift the area than during Homecoming.”
Among the various activities planned, guests can expect:
• Two-hour performances from 90’s Daughter (Market St. & Taylor St. – outside Pour Brothers and Seven Saints) and New Souls (Neil St. & Park Ave.)
• Artist Scott Barber, aka Scobar, doing a live chalk-drawing on Taylor St.
• Various kids activities
• Local-artist decorated Block I’s at various downtown businesses (including Pour Brothers, Seven Saints, The Recreation Club, Circles Boutique, Esquire Lounge, Hamilton Walker’s, Wood N’ Hog Barbecue, Blind Pig Brewery, Jane Addams Book Shop, Exile on Main, Neil St. Blues, Fire Doll and Fagen Scooters.)
• Specials and discounts at downtown restaurants and shops
Community members are encouraged to attend and wear the orange and blue to showcase their Illini Pride. For more information on this event, go to https://homecoming.illinois.edu or follow along on the Facebook event at: https://www.facebook.com/events/2704459566513506.