If you’ve never been to a Texas homecoming, it should definitely be something on your bucket list. There’s nothing like it. Most schools take an entire week to celebrate this momentous tradition. Let’s look at an example of a week in the life of a student in Texas during homecoming. Keep in mind this is only one of many many examples:
- Friday (the week before) — Cheerleaders decorate hallways. Most spirited hall wins a prize.
- Monday — camo day. Dress in camouflage. Homecoming parade after school. Streets around town are blocked off. Vote for homecoming queen.
- Tuesday — crazy hair day. Student with the craziest hair wins a prize.
- Wednesday — 60’s day. Dress like you’re from the 60’s.
- Thursday — 80’s day. Dress like you’re from the 80’s.
- Friday — Pep Rally in the Dark at 5AM. This typically is just for the studets.
- Spirit day. Dress with school spirit (school colors, face paint, etc).
- Girls wear mums (gargantuan mums).
- Boys wear garters usually around their bicep unless it, too, is gargantuan (see picture below).
- Another Pep Rally. Parents come to this one. Huge pep rally often featuring something silly from senior football players (dress like cheerleaders and do a cheer).
- Football game — half time presentation of homecoming queen. Princesses parade around the field with escort and queen is announced and presented with sash, flowers, crown by last year’s homecoming queen
- Saturday — Homecoming dance.
Homecoming literally is an all-out production in Texas. Maybe not all schools in Texas do this, but that’s what I’ve seen in all my years here. Because the past couple of weeks have been homecoming weeks for various schools around me, it got me to thinking, “How did homecoming begin, and how did it become the production it is today?”
Quick homecoming facts:
- Although there is controversy that homecoming began in 1911 at the University of Missouri, one can trace it back to another school two years earlier. In 1909, alumni of Baylor University in Waco, Texas were invited to return to the university to renew old friendships and “catch the Baylor spirit again.” It included class reunions, speeches, concerts, formal dance, parade, and football game. This was the first homecoming. Maybe that’s why it’s a bigger celebration in Texas than northern states.
- The chrysanthemum (mum for short) was chosen as the homecoming flower because it is notoriously known as the “fall flower.” In 1911, cars were decorated with chrysanthemums at the University of Missouri parade.
Although homecoming was created for the alumni to “come home” to visit old friends and show their spirit by attending a football game, it has turned into a week-long celebration by students of all ages in many southern schools.
I’ll leave you with a photo from students in my school district. Everything’s bigger in Texas, right?
 The History of Homecoming, http://www.active.com/football/Articles/The_History_of_Homecoming.htm, 10/4/2011