Participate in the 2016 NIU Homecoming Parade & Events!

Northern Illinois University’s Homecoming will be October 17-22, with the Homecoming Northern Lights Parade taking place on October 20th at 7:00pm. The route will go from NIU’s campus (NIU Art Building parking lot at the intersection of College Ave. and Gilbert Dr.) to downtown DeKalb (at the intersection of 3rd St. and Lincoln Hwy) and is open to the public (full map is below).

As suggested by the name, this year’s parade is once again a lights parade! Parade entrants comprised of vehicles, walking entries, and floats including NIU’s very own marching band will be decked out in lights to help light up the night and pump up the Huskie Pride. Additionally, in keeping with this year’s Homecoming theme, entrants are encouraged to decorate their entries in accordance with the “decades” theme.

NIU welcomes the DeKalb County community to view the parade, and attendees are welcome to join in the fun by wearing light-up and glow items, as well as dressing in our Homecoming theme.

The DeKalb County community is also welcome to participate as parade entries! Registration for the parade is now live! Click HERE  to access the 2016 Homecoming Packet.

Here is some key information for anyone interested in participating in the 2016 NIU Homecoming Parade:

  • Registration and Entry Fee Deadline: Thursday, October 13 at 4:00pm
  • Be sure to go through all the screens and click the final “submit” button.
  • Entries may consist of decorated vehicles, on-foot entries, equestrian groups, and floats. Other categories may be considered upon request.
  • As mentioned above, this year’s parade theme is once again “Northern Lights.” As a result, all entries must have some form of lights clearly displayed with their entry. For example, you can have clear/colored lights on your entry, participants holding flashlights, glow-in-the-dark items, and much more. The best entries are decked out from head to toe!
  • This year, NIU’s Homecoming theme is “Huskies Through the Decades.” Although all entries must have lights clearly displayed for the parade’s light theme, we also encourage entries to follow our theme. For instance, an entry can dress up to represent the 1950’s decade, 1960’s decade, 1970’s decade, etc., or have decorations to represent a specific decade or multiple decades.
  • A MANDATORY parade meeting will be held for all entries on Tuesday, October 18, at 7pm in Campus Life Building, Room 100. At this time, a representative from your entry MUST be present. The position of each entry and parade logistics will be discussed at this time.
  • For full details, please review the 2016 Northern Lights Homecoming Parade Overview & Registration Information  sheet, or contact Christy Fraticola at (815) 753-6505 or


Sunday, October 16
Paint the Town
8:00am – 7:00pm
Judging: Monday, October 17 at noon
Downtown Dekalb

Powder Puff Football
Student Recreation Center Outdoor Facility
Monday, October 17
Kick Off Rally
4:00pm – 6:00pm
Central Park

Tuesday, October 18
Light Up the Campus
Judging at noon
Residence Halls, NIU Departments/Offices

Recycled Boat Race
East Lagoon

Yell Like Hell Rehearsal
Victor E. Huskie Gymnasium

Wednesday, October 19
Homecoming Court Elections
9:00am-11:59pm for online elections
9:00am-6:00pm in HSC-Bus turnaround

Yell Like Hell
Convocation Center

Thursday, October 20
Northern Lights Homecoming Parade
Downtown DeKalb

Lip Sync Competition
Carl Sandburg Auditorium

Friday, October 21
Coronation Cookout
Central Park

Saturday, October 22
Football Game: NIU v. Buffalo
Huskie Stadium

Sunday, October 23
Paint the Town Clean Up
before 4:00pm