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Homecoming weekend traditions


People tailgate off of 17th street on Nov. 21, 2009 across from Memorial Stadium. Both IU and Purdue fans alike came out to partake in the pre-game festivities. File photo

Homecoming might be centered on IU facing off with Iowa, but there is much more tradition to the weekend than football.

Here are some things to keep an eye on in Bloomington this weekend.

Homecoming Parade: IU’s homecoming parade is a great prelude to the following day’s football game. With students, fans and alumni lined along Bloomington’s streets, the Marching Hundred starts the parade, which includes the homecoming court float. 

The parade starts at 6 p.m. on the corner of 17th Street and Woodlawn Avenue and continues toward 7th Street. That will be followed by a pep rally in Dunn Meadow. 

Prizes and shirts are tossed out to the crowd, and Friday night’s parade aims at getting fans excited to cheer on the Hoosiers the following day.

Tailgating: It’s not purely a homecoming tradition, but fall tailgates in Bloomington are a sight to see. For the game’s noon kickoff, fans will be set up as early as 7 a.m., cooking burgers and hotdogs, and catching up with old friends.

Game days in Bloomington are about much more than just the game, and getting the vibe set early can lead to a successful day.

The Walk: IU’s team walk from the west side of Assembly Hall to the Memorial Stadium entrance is always a fan favorite. Fans line up around a pathway as the IU football team reports for game day, signaling the official start of the Homecoming Day festivities.

The walk gives fans a chance to see their favorite players and Coach Tom Allen as the Hoosiers get set to take on the Hawkeyes.

The Game: If it isn’t obvious, the annual homecoming game always attracts a large crowd. Last year, IU took a ranked Michigan team to overtime before falling on a late touchdown. This season, IU will play host to Iowa, a team known for their staunch defense. The last time Iowa visited Bloomington, Jordan Howard and the Hoosiers came awfully close to a signature win.

This year’s game will kick off at noon.

Raise the Flag/Fight Song: With each IU victory comes the raising of the large IU flag in the south end zone. Also serving as a motivational phrase and Twitter hashtag, raising the flag has become a fan and player favorite to signify the IU victory.

As well, the Marching Hundred will wrap up the homecoming festivities with its halftime show as well as the IU fight song and alma mater.

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