Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s annual homecoming celebration Friday through Sunday is expected to draw thousands to Indiana for alumni reunions and events for the entire community, including the annual parade and football game.
Retired IUP football coach Frank Cignetti Sr., of Indiana, will be honored during Saturday’s football game halftime festivities with the naming of the football field as Frank Cignetti Field.
On Friday, the IUP Co-op will host an open house of the new $8 million recreational facility at the Hadley Union Building from 1 to 6 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting at 4 p.m.
The new facility offers 32,000 square feet of space, including a multi-purpose gymnasium that can host a variety of games, ranging from basketball to pickleball. The new facility also offers a walking-jogging track (a lap is one-tenth of a mile).
The homecoming parade, with a theme of “Countries Around the World,” will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday. It will feature almost 70 campus and community units, including floats depicting Chile, built by Sigma Kappa, Kappa Sigma, Delta Zeta, Phi Delta Theta and CALSA; Australia, built by Phi Kappa Psi, Theta Phi Alpha, Sigma Sigma Sigma and Pi Lambda Phi; China, built by Delta Tau Sigma, Alpha Gamma Delta, Delta Gamma and Phi Kappa Tau; Egypt, built by Delta Phi Epsilon, Sigma Pi, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Zeta Tau Alpha and Sigma Chi; and Greece, built by Alpha Sigma Tau, Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Sigma Phi and Phi Mu Delta.
The parade will start at 13th and Philadelphia streets and travel east to Sixth and Philadelphia streets, south on Sixth Street to Church Street, west on Church Street to Oakland Avenue and southwest on Oakland Avenue to 11th Street, where the parade will disband. All motor-driven floats will continue southwest on Oakland Avenue to the Robertshaw building for disassembly.
During the parade, motorists will be detoured onto Water Street, which will be two lanes, and to School Street, which will be temporarily open.
Motorists are urged to use caution when traveling on the detour routes.
Three members of IUP’s Class of 1963 will serve as grand marshals for this year’s parade: Robert and Linda Lloyd, both music education majors of Indiana; and Joseph Saffron, of Pittsburgh, an elementary education major.
In addition to IUP’s marching band, the parade will feature marching bands from Apollo-Ridge (band director Gavin Virag is a 2013 IUP graduate), Blairsville, Homer-Center, Indiana Area, Marion Center Area, Purchase Line (band director Rebecca Bracken is an IUP alumna), Saltsburg and Penns Manor Area high schools.
Open to all, the traditional Crimson Huddle Alumni and Friends Pregame Party will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex. It will feature more than 20 different reunion groups, including sororities, fraternities, academic departments and sports teams.
The Center for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine/Indiana Total Therapy is co-sponsoring the pregame party with the IUP Alumni Association. Cost is $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 5 to 12. Children younger than age 5 are admitted free.
The annual Kidz Karnival also will be held at the Kovalchick Complex from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Organized by the IUP Ambassadors student group, the festival features a variety of children’s activities, with cartoon characters, games, crafts and prizes.
The homecoming football game between IUP and Millersville will begin at 2 p.m.
In addition to honoring Cignetti, members of the 1993 IUP football team, which went to the national championship game, will be recognized at halftime.
The halftime show will feature the IUP marching band, under the direction of Dr. David Martynuik. The band will present the postgame show at the stadium immediately following the game.
Five float prizes will be given: first prize of $1,000, sponsored by the IUP Alumni Association; second prize of $900, sponsored by the IUP Co-Op Store; third place of $800, sponsored by Aramark; fourth prize of $700, co-sponsored by the IUP Student Government Association and Graduate Student Association; and fifth prize of $600, sponsored by the Foundation for IUP.
Judges for the float competition are IUP College of Fine Arts Dean Michael Hood; Dr. Peter Broad, representing Indiana Borough; Sandy Trimble, representing the community; and Brittany Coleman, president of the Student Art Association, representing students.
The Fifth Quarter Celebration, open to all alumni, will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Upstairs at the Coney, along Philadelphia Street.
A trolley provided by the IUP Student Cooperative Association will be available to shuttle people from the Memorial Field House to the Co-op Store and to downtown Indiana after the football game. The trolley will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.
The IUP Center for Student Life is sponsoring the first Homecoming Monte Carlo Night on Saturday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. with casino games, prizes, dancing, food and movies at the Kovalchick Complex. Open to students, admission is $5.
The annual homecoming concert, featuring the IUP Concert Band, Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band, will be at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Performing Arts Center’s Fisher Auditorium.
Tickets for the concert are available in advance at the IUP Hadley Union Building ticket office. Remaining tickets may be purchased at the door 45 minutes before the start of the performance. Tickets are $9 for regular admission, $8 for seniors and groups, and $6 for students with an I-Card and children.
For more information about the concert, call the Fine Arts Public Events Office at (724) 357-2547 or the Hadley Union Building ticket office at (724) 357-1313.
A complete list of homecoming events, including reunions, is available at www.iup.edu/homecoming.
PHOTO: IUP students Keely O’Connor, left, and Christa Purinton enjoyed the nice weather in the Oak Grove following a workout Wednesday. Unseasonably warm weather will continue after some rain showers Friday, with a high of 82 and 20 percent chance of showers predicted by the National Weather Service for Saturday’s homecoming events at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.