Homecoming is a long and proud tradition celebrated by colleges and high schools around the nation. Since 1910, schools have been celebrating their past and present classes with parades, dances, and sporting events. Historians credit the origin of Homecoming to Clarence Foss Williams and W. Elmer Ekblaw; University of Illinois alumni.
Another tradition of homecoming is the Homecoming Parade. The event itself has many aspects. With a homecoming event comes a homecoming court. The court is made up of representatives from every grade that has been selected by their peers to represent an organization, club, or council. Seniors are eligible to be Homecoming King or Homecoming Queen, an honor based off of the votes of classmates. Leesville, on the other hand, does not vote on a king and the court is made up entirely of women. At Leesville, there are two representatives from every grade’s student council, ITS (the International Thespian Society), NHS (National Honors Society), and many more.
Students and staff will also organize a Spirit Week that leads up to the weekend of Homecoming. Every day represents a theme that is a way of reflecting your school spirit by participating. They can be anywhere from School Color Day to Dress like a Celebrity Day, from Crazy Sock Day to Nerd Day. At Leesville, students gather on the sidewalks around the school to watch floats go by with the marching band taking the lead. Each grade’s student council is responsible for designing and building a float. Teachers, administrators, and the principal vote on the winning design and presentation.
Another popular event in Homecoming Week is the Homecoming Dance, often taking place the Saturday after the Homecoming Game. This is a great way for current students to celebrate the start of a new school year and reconnect with their friends. This is the first dance of the school year at Leesville, and is usually a big hit with high attendance.
Rick Reed, a University of Illinois alumnus, said, “I heard about homecoming at freshman orientation. It’s not something the U of I brags about, it’s just a tidbit of information for those who seek out history.” Reed graduated from the University in the year 1989.
“Will Homecoming stop? I don’t think so. Homecoming has been going on for so long… it’s more likely schools would get rid of prom before homecoming.” said Reed when asked about the success of the tradition.
Homecoming is an event recognized by all, a tradition that has withstood almost a century. Students around the nation recognize Homecoming as the start of a new school year, a chance to start over, to meet new people and make new friends. The tradition is cherished by all, and celebrated in style at Leesville.