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Homecoming Parade Grand Marshall Announced

By Abby Schlueter

This year's Illinois Homecoming Grand Marshall has been chosen. Gene Honda makes his return to campus to guide the parade.

Honda is now well-known for being the voice of the Big Ten men's basketball tournament and the Final Four as well as notable Chicago teams like the White Sox and Blackhawks. He got his start on Illinois' campus as the announcer for Fighting Illini football with WPGU, before graduating in 1978.

Honda will be a recipient of the Lou Liay Spirit Award at the annual alumni gala for his extraordinary spirit and pride in support of the university and related organizations.

The parade this year has been changed from previous events and the route now centers around Memorial Stadium. In the past, it has started by the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts before making its was down Gregory Drive to Grange Grove. Now, the parade will start at the corner of Fourth and Kirby before making a U-shape to still end near Grange Grove.

The parade kicks off on Friday, October 14, at 5:30 p.m. following a week full of homecoming activities.

Homecoming Week kicks off on Sunday, October 9, with the eighth annual Homecoming 5K at 10 a.m. organized by the Student Alumni Ambassadors and the Alumni Association.

Immediately following the race will be the kickoff celebration at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. The event includes a pancake breakfast, Marching Illini performance and the annual dyeing of the fountain near the Hallene Gateway.

There are also events throughout the week for students and community members alike, including two concerts featuring Ludacris and Neon Trees at the State Farm Center.

The final event of the week is the Fighting Illini football game on Saturday, October 15, at 11 a.m. The team will be taking on Minnesota and could clinch a spot in a bowl game if they are able to pull out a win against Iowa this Saturday at home.

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