Get your spirit on as a new Illinois fan


Pedestrians walk toward Memorial Stadium alongside the Marching Illini on Oct. 18. Synonymous with school spirit itself, the Marching Illini accompany many scenes of Illini pride like football games and Quad Day.

By Rachel Spencer, Assistant Sports Editor

During the fall semester, it can be a bit daunting trying to keep track of everything  going on in Champaign-Urbana. From tailgates to senior nights, there are plenty of things to do to show school spirit and support Illini Athletics; here are a few can’t-miss events that will make anyone feel at home.

The Homecoming Parade

A college-town tradition no matter what university you attend, the homecoming parade is frequented by students, Champaign-Urbana locals and University alumni alike every year. Cheer on a wide variety of campus RSOs, like the dance teams and student government, while also admiring the traditional homecoming floats entered by members of the Greek community.

Friday Night Hype featuring Illini Drumline

There’s nothing quite like a college town on the weekends during college football season. While cheering on the Illini at Memorial Stadium is, of course, something every student should try, the Marching Illini offer their fair share of spirit events that shouldn’t be missed. Pregame festivities usually begin each Friday night before a game right in front of Alma Mater herself with Friday Night Hype. The drumline gets their chance to shine, and the relatively relaxed event is an opportune way to ease into the excitement that is college football season.


The first event on this list that actually takes place at an athletic event, IlliNOISE is a student and fan-favorite for many reasons. For one, it’s a great reason to go cheer on the Illinois volleyball team, who returns this fall with 2018 NCAA tournament semi-final appearance under its belt. Secondly, it’s one of the rowdiest events during the fall sports season right after Stuff Huff and the homecoming game. Therefore, while it may not be for the faint of heart, IlliNOISE has become a perennial classic, not only because of the team but for the lively atmosphere as well.

Marching Illini Concert on the Steps

Once more, the Marching Illini earn a spot on this list because it wouldn’t really be Illini football without them. Their Concert on the Steps is part of game day pregame festivities and takes place in Grange Grove, which is home to plenty of other entertainment on Saturday mornings. The pregame concert usually coincides with Illini football’s arrival at Memorial Stadium, so it also is a great way to start getting hyped for the game.

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