Every year alumni returning for Homecoming have must-do activities on their weekend planner, with Saturday the most action-packed day of the weeklong celebration.

Alums join people from the community in the annual Town & Gown 5K Run, which is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. There are 12 divisions in the event, including wheelchair participants.

The parade is another tradition everyone enjoys. Redbird pride soars as the Big Red Marching Machine takes to the streets and starts up the ISU fight song! This year the fun starts at 9:30 a.m.

The football game is definitely a high point. This year’s game against Southern Illinois University will require earlier planning, as Hancock Stadium is under construction and seating will be limited. See page 7 for more information on how to get your tickets now.

Beyond these popular activities, alumni are encouraged to maximize their time at ISU by exploring all that is new on campus and Uptown Normal. Start by visiting the Alumni Relations hospitality tent in the tailgating area. Drop off your business card or fill out an update form to receive your 2012 commemorative Homecoming pin. Come early, as supplies are limited.

You’ll find campus and Normal maps, as well as information about the changes in recent months. These include the opening of the Student Fitness Center and McCormick Hall, which is enriching the lives of students. Take a tour to find out what’s so amazing about this facility. Don’t miss the chance to also see the recently completed apartment complex at Cardinal Court. This unique project has significantly changed housing options for ISU students.

When you finish strolling the campus, head to Uptown Normal and marvel at the renovations. From the newly opened transportation center to the complete upgrade of businesses, the area is not what most graduates will remember, although favorite student hangouts remain.