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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 24, 2008

Iowa Memorial Union hosts Welcome Back Week Dec. 1-7

The Iowa Memorial Union (IMU) will celebrate its recent reopening and the University of Iowa's post-flood progress during Welcome Back Week, Dec. 1-7. Events will include the reopening of the River Room Café, The Iowa House Hotel, a Coca-Cola sponsored "bags" tournament, three screenings of "The Dark Knight" and the Holiday Thieves' Market.

The Iowa Memorial Union at the University of Iowa reopened to the public on Nov. 1 after being closed due to the historic flooding. The first through the third floors of the building are open, but the ground floor remains closed.

The River Room Café, located on the first floor of the IMU, is scheduled to open with a full menu on Monday, Dec. 1. The menu will include made-to-order pasta and grill favorites, a deli, and Mexican and Asian Cuisine along with home-style and grab-n-go options. The River Room Café will also be offering a free 12-ounce fountain drink with any food purchase during Welcome Back Week.

River Room dining will be open to the public from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is also open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for brunch and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for dinner.

Coca-Cola and the IMU will sponsor an official tournament of the popular tailgate game called "bags" at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 4 in the IMU Main Lounge. The winner of the tournament will receive a Coca-Cola branded game set. Free pizza will be served from 6 to 7 p.m. and Coca-Cola will distribute 2,000 cans of Full Throttle, NOS and Vitaminenergy. Other prizes offered include t-shirts, posters, magnets, pop-up coolers, hats, sandals and glow-in-the-dark slap bracelets. Z102.9 radio will also be at the event to celebrate the reopening. Admission is free.

Late-night entertainment will feature screenings of the recent Batman thriller "The Dark Knight." The Campus Activities Board and UI Student Government will present three showings of the film at midnight in the Bijou Theater on the first floor in the IMU. The screenings will take place Thursday, Dec. 4., Friday Dec. 5 and Saturday, Dec. 6. Tickets will be $2. Free popcorn and pop will be provided. Campus Activities Board will also be giving away movie tickets for next year.

The week will wrap up with the Holiday Thieves' Market Saturday, Dec. 6 and Sunday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hundreds of artists from all over the Midwest compete to exhibit and sell their original work in painting, drawing, photography, ceramics, jewelry, woodworking, metal and much more. This event, sponsored by the Fine Arts Council, will take place in the IMU Main Lounge. Admission to the show is free and open to the public. For more information visit

The Iowa House Hotel also opens Monday, Dec. 1. For reservations call 319-335-3513.

For more information on the IMU and upcoming events visit (Due to transition in server location, there may be intermittent access to this link today, Monday Nov. 24)

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Nancy Abram, IMU Marketing, 319-335-3414; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,; Writer: Kelly Canfield