Coming Home Traditions
The nights are growing crisp, the daylight hours are diminishing and crops are being harvested. It must be about time for Homecoming.
Homecoming is a big deal at both the high school and college level. It was actually circa 1910 when three separate universities reportedly invited alumni back to campus to watch a football game and socialize. Baylor, Illinois and Missouri all claim dibs on the idea.
At any rate, a tradition was born. By the 1920’s the event had taken hold across the United States. No matter from where the notion began, the events all seemed to involve football games, parades and dances. Sound familiar?
One hundred and five years later, students continue to nominate King and Queen Homecoming candidates, plan activities, create floats for community parades, pay special attention to the football players and look forward to a dance.
My husband Chris will tell you that Homecoming isn’t his favorite week of the year. As a football player, he thought all the festivities took focus away from the important thing the game! Now he tries to find a balance between tradition and the education of the next generation. But between you and me, I think he still believes it takes the focus off the importance of the Friday night activities.
The last two Falls I have had the pleasure of experiencing the anticipation of homecoming week from the inside. The student council invests hours into planning events. All the students appear to look forward to dress=up days and anticipation builds as everyone waits for coronation of the king and queen to occur.
And it is fun to see alum return to watch the events unfold. Just like it was designed from the beginning.
Has it been awhile since you have attended an event at the high school in your community? Are the district’s homecoming events about to take place? Consider attending the coronation. Set a lawn chair along the parade route and enjoy witnessing the creativity of the students. Unearth those warm clothes from the closet and take in a football game. The students love to see the community members at their events.
Despite the debate, these early homecoming events all had similar characteristics: a football game served as a center point; the events included rallies, parades, speeches and dances; the events intented to unite alumni and students to create a stronger sense of school pride; and they were wildly successful.