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Special 'Iowa Wave' planned Monday outside UI Children's Hospital

Organizers hope to spread cheer to patients staying at hospital over the holidays

Fans wave at the UIHC Stead Family Children's Hospital during the first quarter break at an Iowa Hawkeyes football game
Fans wave at the UIHC Stead Family Children’s Hospital during the first quarter break at an Iowa Hawkeyes football game with UNI at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

On Monday, the “Iowa Wave” is making a special holiday appearance, and it won’t be during a football game.

Hundreds of people are expected to gather outside Kinnick Stadium at 6:30 p.m. Monday to wave and shine lights up at the patients and families at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, a tradition that’s been a part of Iowa’s home football games since the 2017 season.

Monday’s event was organized on Facebook as the “Holiday Wave at Stead Family Children’s Hospital” as a way to light up the night for children spending the holiday season in the hospital, according to the event post. People should gather next to the stadium on the sidewalk and in the parking lot along Hawkins Drive to the east and south of the stadium. Roads will still be open to traffic, so people should stay on sidewalks, organizers say. Free parking is available in Lot 43 to the west and north of Kinnick.

People are asked to bring flashlights, though organizers say there also will be some glow sticks available to wave.

The wave has become an Iowa football tradition at Kinnick, where at the end of the first quarter, fans turn and wave to kids watching from children’s hospital, which overlooks the Stadium. During night games, wavers also shine lights — usually from their phones — up at the hospital.

Another holiday wave is planned outside of Kinnick next week, but this wave will come all the way from California. When No. 16 Iowa and No. 22 Southern California play in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego on Friday, at the end of the first quarter fans will turn to the video board at the stadium to wave to children and families at the hospital in Iowa City.

The Holiday Bowl begins at 7 p.m. Central on Fox Sports 1.

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