By Brittany Davenport

Eastern fans and students lined the streets while cops blocked roads and directed traffic through downtown Richmond as homecoming came to town. Although homecoming 2007, dubbed “Mission: Maroon,” kicked off earlier last week, Saturday’s parade and the tailgating that followed were great successes, said Jackie Collier, assistant director of alumni relations.

“You couldn’t ask for a better turnout or better weather,” she said.

Brittany Mace, a sophomore broadcast and electronic media major, said she was just glad to see people on campus.

Mace said it’s nice to have students stay on campus instead of giving credence to Eastern’s nickname of “suitcase” school by taking off for the weekend.

As Colonel James Bond, part of the parade, rolled down Lancaster Avenue and Main Street to entertain the community, one student had only one thing on his mind.

“Tailgating rules,” shouted Justin Knuckles, a freshman pre-med major.

With a beverage in hand and his food on its way to being finished, Knuckles was all smiles with his buddies in the Alumni Coliseum parking lot. His friends agreed they were having a good time. Although not quite as ecstatic as Knuckles, Brenton Boylson said things were fun.

On the east end of the Alumni Coliseum parking lot, there was more than just tailgating.

The Colonel County Fair was set up in white tents to promote Eastern clubs and organizations.

With free pens, slinkys, Band-Aid holders, cups and mugs, those under the tents helped promote what goes on at Eastern’s campus and helped boost team spirit.

Eastern’s chemistry club was on hand to make ice cream the scientific way.

Members of the Graphic Communication Society set up a printing service in Alumni parking lot. The group let students print their own T-shirts.

Other organizations that attended the 2007 homecoming festivities were the Society of Professional Journalists, the Alumni Association, the Senior Challenge Committee and Student Affairs.

And, as the Colonel football team took a walk through the crowds and through the Country Fair before the football game began, the fans cheered and hoped for another Eastern victory. They got their wish.