URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — As the University of Illinois celebrated Homecoming Weekend, the Mortensen family cherished another football season spent together.
The entire family, from grandparents, to children, to grandchildren, all went to the U of I. To them, tailgates are a big deal.
“It means a lot to me personally. I mean, everyone’s got their thing. This is my thing,” Scott Mortensen said. “And obviously, the family is important to me to get them out here and their friends. But honestly, it’s all these other people too. I mean, this is family out here.”
Scott Mortensen started going to Illini games at Memorial Stadium in the 1970s. He graduated from Illinois in 1989 and has tailgated home games with his family for 30 years. His mother, Diane, loves the social aspect of tailgating. She said the best part is seeing her family together every Saturday.
“I’m meeting new people because my sons have friends that are new to me, and my grandchildren do too. So that makes it really special,” she said.
Diane’s other son, Steve, also graduated in 1989. He has a daughter who is currently a junior at the university and doesn’t take any year for granted.
“Homecoming for me is not only coming here to the University of Illinois but also coming back home to spend some time with mom, and enjoy the family in the area,” he said.