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Homecoming Memories

October 4, 2016
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

The Homecoming season is winding down, but this week is the week of Homecoming activities in Emmetsburg. Events are planned for each day of the week, designed not only to build student spirit and camaraderie, but also to involve the community in the excitement that is Homecoming.

So what is Homecoming, exactly? A lot depends on the school, the community, and traditions. Working here in Emmetsburg for nearly 25 years, I've come to understand the traditions of Emmetsburg's Homecoming, and how alumni return, year after year, to be a part of all that is E-Hawk Homecoming.

The traditions of the Homecoming Coronation - starting with the young crown bearers, who draw chuckles as they carry out their duties, marching up to the big stage and waiting patiently as the big girls and boys march to the stage in their finery. A guest speaker, usually a former student or community resident, explains why E-Hawk fans love their E-Hawks - the concept of E-Hawk Pride. The cheerleaders lead cheers, the band performs, the choir sings and the retiring queen and king torture the candidates before placing the crowns on their successors heads to cheers and tears of joy.

Friday afternoon the pre-parade tailgate activities down town bring the community and school together before the Homecoming Parade. The bands march down Broadway, the school song echoing between the downtown buildings. The athletes at all levels are in the parade, some on fire trucks, some marching, all sharing in the fun and celebration that is Homecoming.

The class floats show the creativity of the students, a friendly competition between the classes. And when the parade ends at Courthouse Square, the community Pep Rally with speeches from Coach and the team captains gets everyone fired up for the game later in the evening.

The traditions at the football game - the players running down the hill to take the field, running under the archway at the top of the hill, down through the tunnel of fans of all ages on either side, to burst through the cheerleader's banner and take to the turf of Duane Twait Field.

It's also a tradition for the color guard of the VFW Post to march the length of the field with the American Flag, stopping at the 50-yard line as the E-Hawk Marching band proudly plays the National Anthem as the flag is raised on the north end of the field.

Then the game starts, the E-Hawks play their hardest, and win or lose over the years, the E-Hawk faithful, past and present, return home, ready to return in a year and experience it all over again.

Homecoming is a magical time, not only for students in school, but for those of us in the community as well. We can enjoy the events, share in the fun and support the teams, because when you get down to it, a community is only as strong as its weakest link. To keep your community and your schools strong, we need to support the youth in such events. It's part of their learning experience and part of our nurturing them to be community members.



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