Some Uptown Normal businesses expecting to see an increase in customers during ISU’s Homecoming weekend

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NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — This week marks 100 years of Homecoming for Illinois State University, with the Homecoming football game capping the week off this Saturday.

Some business owners in Uptown Normal are excited for the festivities to return, after taking a hiatus last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Everybody is geared up, this is the hundredth year for ISU Homecoming and everybody’s just excited, you can kind of feel it in the air,” said Jane Rupprecht with Uptown Gifts & Accessories.

She said Homecoming always brings extra customers to the Uptown area.

“It’s definitely busy, it starts probably Friday afternoon, and it goes all the way through Sunday. A lot of people go to the game, so they necessarily may not shop on Saturday, but they may after the game or Sunday before they go home,” said Rupprecht.

Pam Locsin with the Garlic Press said the event brings new faces into the shops.

“It’s always gratifying for us because it’s a lot of new families, freshman that are coming in that are getting introduced to uptown and finding everything that’s going on down here,” said Locsin.

She added that the festivities are part of what makes being in Uptown fun.

“With the parade and everything down here on Saturday, it’s gonna be an amazing weekend, it’s a huge amount of people in this area, so we’re always happy to see them,” said Locsin.

The Illinois State Redbirds take on the North Dakota State Bison at Hancock Stadium, Saturday at 2 p.m.

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