SIU Is All That Homecoming 2021 celebrations begin Monday

SIU Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal – Two-time Olympian and SIU Carbondale alumna DeAnna Price (shown here in the 2019 Homecoming Parade) will lead the 2021 homecoming celebrations on October 16. (Photo provided by SIU Athletics)

October 05, 2021

SIU Is All That Homecoming 2021 celebrations begin Monday

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Carbondale alumna DeAnna Price of Olympia and Southern Illinois University, comedian Chico Bean and exciting football with the nationally ranked Salukis show once again that “SIU is all that” when the university celebrates Homecoming 2021 next week.

“SIU Is All That: A Flashback to the ’90s” is the theme of the week-long festival from October 11th to 16th. It’s a time for current students, returning alumni, and the community to meet and celebrate in a Southern style. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the 2020 homecoming to be canceled.

“We’re excited to be hosting SIU Homecoming again this year,” said Carly Holtkamp, ​​Assistant Director of Student Center Programs. “We look forward to showing Saluki’s pride on campus and in the community.”

Most of the events are public and most are free. SIU is committed to protecting the community, so all homecoming event attendees must follow current campus and state security protocols and wear masks in indoor shared spaces.

World Champion, Olympian Price is Grand Marshal

DeAnna-Preis-sm-hammerPrice, two-time Olympic athlete and SIU alumna, will lead the celebrations as Grand Marshal. A native of St. Charles, Missouri, graduated from SIU in 2016 with a degree in accounting.

Price took eighth place in the women’s hammer throw at both the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the postponed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in August. She became the first American woman to win an international medal and win gold at the World Championships in 2019. Her career also includes numerous other achievements, including two national hammer throw championships as a Saluki athletics star at SIU.

Price will lead the homecoming parade, which begins October 16 at 10 a.m., and will be at the Saluki soccer game later that day.

Pep rally, block party, concert and other activities set

The homecoming schedule is filled with a varied selection of activities throughout the week.

On Monday October 11th, Chancellor Austin Lane and Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry will open the celebrations with a pep rally and homecoming proclamation from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the north entrance of the student center. The online voting for the homecoming kings will also begin on Monday.

The popular Saluki Block Party is back this year and it’s free for students and the public. Activities include games, a climbing wall from the Touch of Nature Environmental Center, photo booth, DJ, rides, and henna tattoos from the SIU Craft Shop. It all happens from 5pm to 8pm on October 14th on Lincoln Drive in front of Pulliam Hall. To ensure public health and safety, pets, smoking, glass bottles, or advertising are not allowed. There will also be grocery vendors on-site offering a variety of menu options.

The fun continues the following night, October 15th, with the Rock and Rolled Homecoming Concert in the Alumni Center Courtyard behind Woody Hall. The event with food trucks, cash bar and music by the Jungle Dogs starts at 7:30 p.m.

Everyone is welcome to attend the SIU Alumni Association event, but those wishing to attend are encouraged to register online.

Other homecoming activities open to the public include:

  • American Red Cross Blood Drive, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., October 13, 1st floor of the Student Center.
  • Saluki Alumni Plaza Cutting the Ribbon, 4pm, October 15, behind Woody Hall.
  • Rocked and Rolled Reception, 4:30 p.m.-6:50 p.m. Oct. 15, Faner Hall, 1st floor University Museum, lobby area and auditorium. The University Museum event features the works of Illinois artists and photographers, who focus on artists such as Aerosmith, The Grateful Dead, and James Brown. Light refreshments are served.
  • Inauguration of the Alumni Center, 6:00 p.m., October 15, Alumni Center, Woody Hall.
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Step Show with Greek SIU organizations showcasing the talents of their members using step routines, 7pm, October 15th, Shryock Auditorium. All are welcome; Entry is $ 10.

Highlight with parade, game

The week’s celebrations all run through Saturday, October 16, with parade, tailgating, soccer, and more.

The homecoming parade begins at 10 a.m., winds its way through the streets of Carbondale, and ends at the student center. There is still time for cars, bands and other participants to get involved and compete for trophies. The closing date for entries is Friday, October 8th. Applications and all details can be viewed online at

After the parade, tailgating fun will take place on Saluki Row outside Saluki Stadium from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Louis Cardinals in-game moderator who acts as emcee. Get tickets (that include entry to the football game) in advance by October 8 for $ 20 plus fees for those under 21 and $ 30 plus fees for those 21 and older. Tickets are available for a higher price at the box office.

Then it’s time to pack up the stadium as the Saluki soccer team takes on the North Dakota Fighting Hawks at 2pm. Tickets are available in advance online or at the box office. The homecoming king is crowned at halftime.

The Saluki sports action continues when the Saluki volleyball team takes on Missouri State at Davies Gym at 5 p.m. Other Saturday events include a homecoming reunion breakfast, the Miss Eboness Pageant, and Mimosas in the Museum, which take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the University Museum.

For students only

Chico-beans-homecoming-smSome events are aimed specifically at current students:

  • Airbrush T-shirts and hats – Tuesday, October 12th from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Student Center 1st floor.
  • Homecoming Comedy Show ’21 with Chico Bean from the “85 South Show”. It’s 7:30 p.m. on October 13 in the Shryock Auditorium. Get tickets at for $ 5 each.
  • Sneaker Ball, Saturday, October 16, 9 p.m. – midnight, in the ballrooms of the student center. Students are encouraged to wear formal or cocktail attire with sneakers.

Show Saluki pride

Campus offices and departments also join in with a door decoration competition where the grand prize is a trophy and boast. To participate, SIU units must register by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 6th.

The decorations remain in place for visitors and the campus community to enjoy while returning home. Visitors will also see the school spirit across campus and in the community with an abundance of signs, banners, and lots of maroon Saluki fans.

More details

As this year’s homecoming goes back to the 1990s, here are a few recaps of the celebrations over the years, filled with historical photos and a video compilation:

The full event schedule and further information on SIU Homecoming 2021 can be found at If you have any questions, email [email protected] or call 618-536-3393.

About Gloria Skelton

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