Cooler weather, Friday night lights, and college game days signal it’s fall, and many schools plan homecoming activities for their alums to come back and relive their glory days. It is also the time to crown the king and queen for the season. We found some high school and college traditions that are pretty darn sweet.
In many small towns, homecoming is THE event of the fall. Girls in sequined gowns are perched in classic convertibles and driven around the track at the football field. They are escorted by football players and crowned king and queen at midfield. A twinkling tiara is placed on the queen’s head by the outgoing homecoming queen, and the king gets to kiss the queen and hopefully lead the team to a victory.
For students at Texas high schools, it is all about the mums. We are not talking like a small mum on a pin stuck to a shirt like a corsage, but a giant extravagant creation that for most girls needs to be hung on a necklace because there isn’t a dress in town that could hold it up. The creations started with just a flower on a backing with a few streamers in the school colors, many times sold as fundraisers for some school organization. Now mums also have stuffed animals, multiple ribbons, bells, and glitter, and with each item added, there is an additional cost. The bigger the better. Even the boys have gotten into the spirit and have a smaller mum on a garter they can wear around their bicep.
At colleges, things get a little grander. Events usually include a pep rally as well as a parade with big tissue-covered floats representing that year’s theme. These floats, made on a trailer and created with chicken wire and colored “pomp” material, can take hours to assemble.
At Oklahoma State University they have taken homecoming celebrations to a whole other level. Deemed “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration,” it is a work of art and labor of love. The fraternities and sororities pair up; and instead of making a float, they create a structure out of the same chicken wire and pomp that goes with that year’s theme. The process starts as soon as school starts and then is celebrated homecoming weekend with a Friday night walk around so people can really see what amazing items have been created.
Homecoming celebrations are something that almost all American cities and towns participate in. Whether big or small, with mums or floats, it’s a time where we can gather together and be proud. How sweet is that?