Though plans for the football season have been sidelined, Illinois State University will still celebrate with virtual or socially distanced events April 5-11.

“Homecoming has always been about celebration and sharing memories,” said Stephanie Duquenne of Alumni Engagement, who is heading up plans for the spring. “We know the game was cancelled, but we can still hold true to the spirit of Homecoming. This is a chance for us to rally behind the University that has given so much to our lives and our communities.” 

The first-ever spring Homecoming will offer Redbirds around the globe an array of virtual programming to celebrate the University’s storied history and the traditions, memories, and spirit that bind us together. Visit for a full schedule of events. Audiences can share Homecoming memories on Twitter with @ISU_Homecoming.

Highlights of the week are below. All events are free and open to the public, unless a fee is noted.

Monday, April 5
Homecoming officially begins with a “On the Move” Kickoff for Redbird students. Between 2:30 and 5:30 p.m., ISU’s University Program Board will be driving around the Quad handing out Homecoming swag and Jimmy Johns.

The Bloomington-Normal community can also visit Uptown Normal throughout the week beginning Monday night to see the area lit with the traditional red and white lights.

Tuesday, April 6
Tuesday night invites Redbird families and friends to gather around the screen for a tutorial to draw the one-and-only Reggie Redbird. The event is for all ages with prize giveaways happening throughout the evening.

Wednesday, April 7
Spend an evening at home with University Archives to learn about the history of the Quad. This webinar, led by University Archivist April Anderson-Zorn and Associate Director of Event Management, Dining and Hospitality Barb Dallinger, will delve into the evolution of the Quad and its buildings. Registration required.

Thursday, April 8
Rally the Redbirds prior to a weekend packed with athletic events. The virtual rally will feature President Dietz, Athletic Director Kyle Brennan, Head Football Coach Brock Spack, Head Softball Coach Melinda Fischer, and Head Baseball Coach Steve Holm. Plus, the Big Red Marching Machine will make a special appearance.

Friday, April 9
Show that Redbirds care by donating blood between 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Bone Student Center. The first 30 to donate will receive a Homecoming spirit bag.

Join the Black Colleagues Association for its virtual Homecoming Party and FUNdraising Experience from 7-10 p.m. Redbirds will party the night away with DJ Vince Adams while showing support for student scholarships. The event is free with registration required prior to the event.

Saturday, April 10
The annual Town and Gown 5K will be held virtually this spring. Participants can register by April 7 to receive the virtual running packet. The 5K can be completed any time prior to April 10.

The celebration continues with the annual Illinois State Homecoming Parade. This year entries sent virtual special greetings and Homecoming pride for viewers to watch. Visit the Illinois State University Facebook page at 10 a.m. to see the virtual event.

Fans and friends can decorate their driveways, porches, and front doors to show Redbird spirit as a part of driveway tailgate parties. Photos posted with #RedbirdHomecoming will be entered in a drawing to win Redbird swag.

For more information on Homecoming events, visit or contact Alumni Engagement at (309) 438-2586 or email

Homecoming 2021: 100 Years will take place this fall, October 11-17, 2021.