Parades, marching bands, floats, costumes...these bring back memories of Homecoming Day. As an elementary student, homecoming meant a half-day of school. But, we were much too excited to learn, and, try as they might, teachers often gave in and celebrated homecoming within their classes. There were games and party favors then we were dismissed to line up to participate or to watch the Homecoming Day parade.
In the town I lived in, junior high and high school shared one building. Therefore, once elementary students entered seventh grade, Homecoming Day took on new meaning. The morning was spent putting final touches on floats, which took all week to build in secretive places. The element of surprise might ensure a first place win in the float contest. Trailers were secured early in the school year, and themes were voted on by students. Then, board frames were built on the trailers. These were covered with chicken wire, and the holes were stuffed with colored toilet paper squares. Not one public restroom in town could keep toilet paper during Homecoming week. Streamers were made from crepe paper and hung on the floats. Students in themed costumes were chosen by their peers to ride on the floats. The floats were pulled by farm tractors, lawn mowers, or large vehicles down Main Street, which was lined with spectators of all ages. Some of the floats' riders threw candy to children as the parade moved slowly toward the opposite end of town.
As a member of the high school band, we practiced daily for weeks in advance to put on a great Homecoming half-time show. These often featured twirlers with fire batons that lit up the night sky. Queen candidates rode atop back seats of convertibles as the sports cars circled the field then stopped in front of the hometown crowd. Sweaty football players, called kings, escorted girls in beautiful formals to the center of the field then waited for the winners to be announced. Within minutes, the excitement was over, and the king ran back to the sideline to join his team mates while the queen took a seat on the fifty-yard line with her royal court members to await the outcome of the game.
After the football game, whether win or lose, a pigskin party was held at one of the local churches that took turns hosting after-parties. Desserts, drinks, finger foods, and music provided great Friday night fun! Without a doubt, Homecoming Day was greatly anticipated, and memories were made that have lasted a lifetime. And, there are pictures stored away in boxes that are proof Homecoming Day was full of excitement and fun.
To help your students create their own Homecoming Day memories, try the Homecoming Activities packet at my TpT storefront.
Homecoming Activities Packet