The History of Homecoming

With the week of Homecoming upon us, Randee Thayer reflects on the history behind our beloved traditions.

By Randee Thayer

Where does Homecoming come from? What does homecoming mean? What is the importance of homecoming week? Has homecoming changed throughout the years? Let’s dive into the answers of these important questions.

A quick google search will reveal the debate about where homecoming celebrations originated. Homecoming originated in the early 1900s’ in either Missouri, Texas or Illinois. The University of Missouri claims to have started the homecoming tradition in 1911, but Baylor Texas’ homecoming games trace back to 1909, and the University of Illinois dates their ceremonies to 1910. The word ‘homecoming’ refers to college alumni coming back home to watch the football game.

The traditions of homecoming have spread throughout the country and into high schools as well. Homecoming has become a week of school spirit celebrated by all high schools and colleges across the nation. The celebrations can include a variety of things such as floats, football games, dances, and the crowning of the homecoming court.

Here at Central, we celebrate five days of dress up, coronation, pep assembly, the football game and a dance. “Homecoming was all about school pride, even though we probably would not win the game,” said Rob Bradford, Class of ‘86. “We had a lot of events but the most fun out of all of them was the teachers vs students softball game. Also the parade downtown and how the kids dressed up their cars or built their floats.” Homecoming has always been about the school spirit. According to senior cheerleader Katie Doerfler, “ My favorite part is seeing everyone dress up and participate in the activities. It’s so fun to see everyone’s school spirit.” Through the decades, Central’s homecoming has changed and altered with its activities, but our students have always had an abundance of school spirit and Cobbler pride.