Iowa State University's Homecoming events kick off this week. Here's the schedule of events

Phillip Sitter
Ames Tribune

This story has been updated to reflect who the Blue Sky 5K is open to.

The Cyclones' Homecoming face-off with the Cowboys is not until Oct. 23, but Iowa State University's Homecoming events will be underway well before the start of the game against Oklahoma State University.

Back in-person this year — though still with a few virtual event options for the Oct. 18-22 CY of the Storm Bingo Battle, Oct. 22 90th Honors & Awards Ceremony and Oct. 22 mass Campaniling — the most immediate big Homecoming draw will be the parade in downtown Ames scheduled for Sunday.

The parade will start at 2 p.m. from the staging area at Ames City Hall's parking lot near Pearle Avenue and will then move east on 5th Street, south on Douglas Avenue and west on Main Street, before concluding on Northwestern Avenue after passing over Grand Avenue.

The following streets downtown will be closed for the parade, according to an event map available online from the Iowa State University Alumni Association:

  • 6th Street at the parade staging area between Grand Avenue and Clark Avenue
  • 5th Street between Grand Avenue and Douglas Avenue
  • Main Street from Douglas Avenue, across the overpass above Grand Avenue onto Northwestern Avenue just west of Allan Drive
  • Allan Drive at Northwestern Avenue
  • Clark Avenue between 5th Street and Main Street
  • The parking lot entrance north of 5th Street between Clark Avenue and Burnett Avenue
  • Burnett Avenue south of 5th Street
  • Kellogg Avenue between 5th Street and Main Street
  • Douglas Avenue south of 5th Street

Food trucks will be parked in the closed-to-traffic areas of Clark, Burnett and Kellogg avenues. The parade judges will be on Burnett Avenue at Main Street.

According to the event's web page, the Homecoming parade's grand marshal will be James Oliver, who is the director of the Student Innovation Center and a mechanical engineering professor.

More on the Student Innovation Center:Iowa State University's Student Innovation Center celebrates belated grand opening

More Iowa State Homecoming 2021 events

Homecoming activities will be under way this week before Sunday's parade, but events such as a bags tournament and painting of the concrete pathway to Jack Trice Stadium are only open to current Iowa State students, according to information online from the Iowa State University Alumni Association.

The same applies to events next week including dodgeball, basketball and e-sports tournaments. Participation in these and other events accumulates points for students which could win them a $250 grand prize.

This year's Blue Sky 5K is open to the public, according to Kaley Severn, manager of student programs for the Alumni Association.

Anyone on campus next week may notice offices, doors, residence halls and businesses decorated as part of a contest to reflect the Homecoming theme, "Cy of the Storm." Registration for the decorating contest will close on Friday.

Free food will be available on campus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each weekday next week, while supplies last, for people who have purchased a homecoming button — either at the ISU Bookstore in Memorial Union for $5 or online and shipped for $7.

Friday, Oct. 22 will have several big events:

  • A free and family-friendly Homecoming pep rally and open house from 5 to 9 p.m. at the ISU Alumni Center. Food will be available from 5:30 to 7 p.m., while supplies last, either for purchase or free with a homecoming button. There will also be a cash bar. The pep rally will begin at 7 p.m. in the parking lot east of the Alumni Center and will include Yell-Like-Hell finalists, the announcement of Cardinal Court honorees, the ISU varsity marching band, spirit squad and special guests. ISU merchandise will be for sale at the rally as well.
  • An all-Greek alumni reunion will be held inside the Alumni Center from 5:30 to 7 p.m., with a complimentary dinner and cash bar included. Registration is encouraged, but not required.
  • There will be "ExCYtement in the Streets" from 8-10 p.m. with lawn displays lit up around Greekland.
  • Pancakes — $3 a serving — will be available starting at 10 p.m. in Central Campus, with fireworks and Campaniling to follow at midnight, the ISU tradition of being kissed under the Campanile at the stroke of midnight.

On Saturday, Oct. 23, the Cyclone Central Tailgate will also be three hours before kick-off at the Alumni Center.

More information on Homecoming events is available at isualum.org/homecoming.

Phillip Sitter covers education for the Ames Tribune, including Iowa State University and PreK-12 schools in Ames and elsewhere in Story County. Phillip can be reached via email at psitter@gannett.com. He is on Twitter @pslifeisabeauty.