Homecoming has been a common tradition between universities and high schools since the 19th century, welcoming back students with a dance and football game. With Homecoming coming closer, knowing common customs can help make the event perfect. 

“My favorite Homecoming tradition is the spirit week leading up to the dance,” sophomore Savannah Toro said. “SGA tries to come up with creative ideas and it’s cool to see students participate. They always think of innovative outfits.”

One of the main events of Homecoming is the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen. The order of the crowning differs between each school, but the queen is traditionally crowned first followed by the king.

Another large event is the Homecoming dance itself, where students get dressed up to party. The dance usually comes as the last event of the week and is semi-formal. Girls most commonly wear cocktail dresses that are cut at the knee with their hair down, while boys wear a suit with a tie or a tucked-in shirt with pants. Most times, the dance will have a theme with the venue decorated to match it, and a band is often hired to play music.

“I can’t wait to go to my first Homecoming dance,” freshman Summer Held said. “I am looking forward to making new memories and having fun.”

Before the dance, there are events and activities leading up to it. Some common traditions that take place at universities and colleges are parades, tailgate parties and picnics. 

Parades include the school’s marching band, different organizations and sports teams. The Homecoming Court generally participates, riding in one or more cars. Sometimes the parade can be part of a series of activities, which include a pep rally, bonfire, snake dance or more. 

Tailgate parties are the most recognized and attended events of the week. There, students, alumni and members of the community set up tents to cook food, play games, socialize and enjoy live music.

Picnics sometimes take place during the school week and are similar to a tailgate party. However, they occur after school or during the school’s lunch period. Students bring drinks and food that can be shared with others. 

With the possibility of so many school events, some Naples High students believe we should change some current traditions we have. Adding some variety to the Homecoming events may raise spirit or lead to more participation in the events. 

“I’d like to see picnics, or you can do more than just what we do already,” Held said. “You can have a picnic day for families or have a half day on Friday.”

Even though not all NHS students enjoy the traditions we have now, Spirit Week is still a time that many enjoy. 

Before the Homecoming game and dance, “Spirit Week” is a week where students are allowed to wear clothing suitable to certain themes. Traditionally on Friday, students wear school spirit clothing with the makeup of the school colors. Pep rallies are also common to raise school pride and to introduce sports teams, while skits and games make them entertaining. Throughout the week, there are also various events where students compete by grade level in activities like dodgeball, relay races, and ultimate frisbees. 

“I like to dress up a lot because I like clothes, [so] it’s really fun to be able to dress up,” Held said. “Also the Olympics sound really fun…just a bunch of people running around at night seems amusing.”

Homecoming is an event that students look forward to at the beginning of the year to celebrate and show their spirit. To make it even better, following common traditions can make this time spectacular.

“My favorite thing is going to the Homecoming dance and hanging out with my friends,” Rivera said. “I think it’s really fun because it’s an annual thing where you can [spend time] with friends.”