The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

EIU bleeds blue at the Block Party Pep Rally 

Delta Sigma Theta members performs for Eastern Illinois University Block Party Pep Rally event at O‘Brien Stadium Friday night. (Prince Pappoe)

The loud music echoing from behind O’Brien Stadium drew in party growers as they made their way down the path to the O’Brien field parking lot. 

The closer they got, the louder the music became.  

The sounds of singing, laughter and chatter grew louder once the attendees made their way inside the block party. The smiling faces, colorful food trucks and the live DJ were all on display as the bright white LED lights shined down on the event. 

To close homecoming week at Eastern, the University’s Board, UB, threw a Block Party Pep Rally in the O’Brien Field parking lot Friday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.  

Sitting front and center in front of the bright LED lights were everyone’s favorite selfie spot, the big EIU letters. 

Students, staff and community members gathered around the letters to have their pictures taken and capture memories of the night. 

The Block Party was catered for by six food trucks including Sweet Tea’z Bubble Tea, Gate to Plate and the House of Brisket to name a few.  

To sweeten the deal, the event organizers had a plethora of coupons for each food truck offering discounted prices on many food items. 

Food trucks serves students during Eastern Illinois University Block Party Pep Rally event at O‘Brien Stadium Friday night. (Prince Pappoe)

Champaign’s very own DJ Silkee brought the entertainment for the night. She kept the vibe alive all night playing a little something for everyone. She even began to take requests near the end of the night to really connect with the crowd.  

The UB also put on a raffle. To enter, attendees were given a piece of paper to write down their name and email to be notified of the winner being picked the next day. 

Eastern’s main goal for the block party was to bring the community together and give them a safe place to have fun and connect on a Friday night. 

“… [The] Homecoming block party brings together Eastern’s alumni, students, staff, faculty and the Charleston Community to showcase EIU pride. The event is designed to build community spirit and will feature food trucks, tasty food, beer and seltzer tent, giveaways, live DJ, and a special performance from EIU’s Panther Marching Band” read the event description. 

Students from Eastern Illinois University take pictures together during Block Party Pep Rally event at O‘Brien Stadium Friday night. (Prince Pappoe)

The Panther Marching Band did not perform, but the Eastern dance team did.

Their electric performance caught the attention of many onlookers and brought in a big crowd. Once they finished, and got their well-deserved round of applause, the sea of people who came to watch them stayed on the dance floor, which became their home for the rest of the night. 

Junior TV and radio production major Ryan Bevers came out for two things, the good food and the good vibes. 

“I came out here to vibe, you know, it’s a really nice vibe out here tonight, good music, good people hanging around, really nice people, and all the food trucks, I’ve seen some really good food,” he said.

Although he left a bit early, he was still able to see some smiling faces on his way out. 

“I think it’s really cool to kind of get here early because we get to see a lot of people are flowing in.” said Bevers. “We got to see a lot of smiling faces out there tonight. Everyone looks really happy, you know, loud music, good vibe, good food, and it seems like it’s, everyone’s really happy.” 

EIU graduate Austin Corley shared his thoughts on the event now being an alumni student. 

“I came in during covid, so I didn’t get the very traditional college experience you know so sometimes I regret that I didn’t get this kind of stuff, but it is nice, you know, being a local, you are still welcome,” Corley said. 

EIU graduate Taylor Comer, who works for the College Student Affairs Program, expressed what EIU means to her. 

Eastern Students converse during the Eastern Illinois University Block Party Pep Rally event at O‘Brien Stadium Friday night. (Prince Pappoe)

“[It’s] definitely like community,” Comer said. “I did my undergrad here, so I’ve been here for about six years now and I love it here. Everyone here is very supportive of one another. You always see a familiar face on campus and people who graduated a hot minute ago are always excited to come back.” 

Senior homecoming coordinator Kristal Munov was excited to see all her hard work pay off during the event. 

“Planning it has been a little stressful, but it all becomes worth it when it’s time for the events to happen and I see all the faces of everybody enjoying themselves and seeing this turnout here today, even with the weather, it’s really fulfilling,” Munov said. 

“When we say we bleed blue, it’s not a joke, I think we really do,” said Bevers, “…I mean, it’s pretty cool out here and there’s still a lot of people coming in. We’re still bleeding blue, even in the cold like this.” 

The last day of homecoming festivities is Saturday with the parade starting at 9:30 a.m. and followed by the tailgate starting at 11. The EIU Panthers will be taking on the UT Martin Skyhawks at 2 p.m. at O’Brien stadium.

 

Alexis Moore-Jones can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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Alexis Moore-Jones
Alexis Moore-Jones, Feature Reporter
Alexis Moore-Jones is a senior broadcast journalism major. This is her first year at The News.

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