Homecoming is one of the most exciting times of the year for any high school student. From the big game to the Homecoming dance, it’s a week filled with school spirit, traditions, and community togetherness. If you’re wondering what exactly homecoming is all about, you’ve come to the right place!

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Homecoming is an annual tradition and celebration held by many high schools, typically in the fall. It revolves around a football game and other spirit activities like pep rallies, parades, and dances.

In this 2,500 word guide, we will dive deep into everything you need to know about homecoming in high school, including the history, common events and activities, spirit week themes, costs and expectations, and more.

Whether you’re a student, parent, teacher, or just curious, you’ll learn all about this beloved high school tradition by the time you reach the end.

The History and Origins of Homecoming

Homecoming is a beloved tradition in high schools across the United States, but have you ever wondered where it all began? Let’s take a trip back in time to explore the history and origins of homecoming.

When and Why Homecoming Began

The concept of homecoming originated in American colleges and universities in the late 19th century. It was initially created as a way to welcome back alumni and celebrate their return to campus. The first recorded homecoming event took place in 1910 at the University of Missouri, where they invited former students to attend a football game and participate in various festivities.

But why was homecoming introduced in the first place? One theory suggests that it was a response to the increasing mobility of Americans during that time. As more people moved away from their hometowns to pursue higher education, colleges wanted to provide them with a sense of belonging and nostalgia.

Homecoming became an opportunity for former students to reconnect with their alma mater and relive fond memories.

How the Tradition Spread to High Schools

As the popularity of homecoming grew in colleges, the tradition eventually made its way to high schools. The first recorded high school homecoming event took place in the 1920s in the state of Illinois.

It quickly caught on, and soon, high schools across the country were organizing their own homecoming festivities.

High school homecomings typically involve a week of activities leading up to a football game, where students, alumni, and the local community come together to show their school spirit. Festivities often include pep rallies, parades, spirit days, and the crowning of a homecoming king and queen.

Growth in Popularity Over the Decades

Over the decades, homecoming has become more than just a celebration of alumni returning to their alma mater. It has evolved into a tradition that fosters school pride, builds community spirit, and creates lasting memories for current students.

The popularity of homecoming has grown so much that it is now considered one of the highlights of the school year for many students. It’s a time when students can come together, cheer on their sports teams, and showcase their creativity and enthusiasm through various activities and events.

Today, homecoming continues to be an integral part of the high school experience, bringing together students, alumni, and the community in a celebration of school spirit and tradition.

Common Homecoming Events and Activities

Homecoming is a highly anticipated event in high schools across the country. It is a time for students, alumni, and the community to come together and celebrate school spirit. While the specifics may vary from school to school, there are some common events and activities that are typically associated with homecoming.

The Homecoming Game

The homecoming game is often the centerpiece of the entire homecoming week. It usually takes place on a Friday night and features the school’s football team competing against a rival team. The game is not only a chance to showcase the athletic talent of the school, but it is also an opportunity for students and alumni to come together and show their support.

The stands are filled with cheering fans, and the atmosphere is electric. It’s a great time to connect with old friends, enjoy some delicious concession stand food, and cheer on your school to victory!

Spirit Week and Pep Rallies

Spirit Week is an exciting tradition that takes place leading up to homecoming. Each day of the week has a different theme, such as pajama day or twin day, and students are encouraged to dress up accordingly.

This is a fun way to show school spirit and get everyone excited for the big game and other homecoming events. Pep rallies are often held during Spirit Week, where the entire school gathers in the gymnasium or auditorium to cheer on the sports teams, participate in games and activities, and showcase their school pride.

Homecoming Court

One of the highlights of homecoming is the announcement of the homecoming court. The court typically consists of a king, queen, and court members who are chosen by their peers through a nomination and voting process.

The court members are usually seniors who have made a positive impact on the school community. The crowning of the king and queen often takes place during halftime of the homecoming game, and it is a special moment for the chosen individuals and their families.


A homecoming parade is a festive event that brings the community together. It usually takes place on the day of the homecoming game and features floats, marching bands, and various community organizations.

The parade route typically goes through the town or around the school, allowing spectators to cheer on the participants and enjoy the festivities. It’s a great opportunity for the school to showcase their pride and for the community to come out and support their local high school.


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Homecoming Dance

The homecoming dance is the culmination of the homecoming festivities. It is a formal or semi-formal event that takes place after the homecoming game. Students dress up in their best attire and gather in the school gymnasium or another designated venue for an evening of dancing and celebration.

The dance often has a theme, such as “Enchanted Forest” or “Hollywood Glam,” and there may be decorations, a DJ or live band, and refreshments. It’s a chance for students to let loose, have fun, and create lasting memories with their friends.

Homecoming is a time-honored tradition that brings the school community together. From the excitement of the game to the festivities of the dance, there is something for everyone to enjoy during this special week.

So, put on your school colors, join in the fun, and make memories that will last a lifetime!

Homecoming Spirit Week Themes

Decade Days

Decade Days are a popular theme during Homecoming Spirit Week in high schools. Each day of the week is dedicated to a different decade, allowing students to dress up in outfits inspired by their favorite era.

From the groovy styles of the 70s to the colorful fashion of the 80s, Decade Days bring a sense of nostalgia and fun to the school. Students can be seen rocking bell-bottoms, oversized hairdos, and neon accessories, transporting everyone back in time.

Neon Day

Neon Day is all about embracing vibrant and eye-catching colors. Students dress up in neon-colored clothing, accessories, and even apply fluorescent body paint. The school hallways come alive with a burst of colors, creating an electric atmosphere.

Neon Day encourages students to show their creativity and stand out from the crowd with their neon-inspired outfits. It’s a day filled with energy, positivity, and a little bit of glow-in-the-dark fun!

Jersey Day

Jersey Day is a favorite among sports enthusiasts. On this day, students proudly wear their favorite sports team jerseys, representing their favorite players and teams. Whether it’s a jersey from a local team or a professional sports team, Jersey Day allows students to showcase their team spirit.

The hallways become a sea of jerseys, sparking conversations and friendly rivalries among students. It’s a day that unites the school through their shared love for sports.

Pajama Day

Who doesn’t love a day where you can wear your pajamas to school? Pajama Day is a day filled with comfort and coziness. Students come to school dressed in their favorite sleepwear, from fluffy onesies to cozy matching sets.

Pajama Day provides a break from the typical school dress code and allows students to embrace relaxation and comfort. It’s a day where everyone can feel like they’re in a giant slumber party!

Character Day

Character Day is a chance for students to unleash their creativity and dress up as their favorite fictional characters. From superheroes to Disney princesses, students can bring their favorite characters to life.

The hallways become a stage for a diverse range of characters, showcasing the students’ love for pop culture and storytelling. Character Day allows students to embrace their imagination and express their individuality in a fun and exciting way.

Costs and Expectations for Homecoming

Homecoming is an exciting event in high school that brings together students, parents, and the community to celebrate school spirit and pride. However, it’s important to be aware of the costs and expectations associated with this event. Here are some key factors to consider:

Tickets for the Game and Dance

Attending the homecoming game and dance usually requires purchasing tickets. These tickets contribute to covering the expenses of organizing the event, such as venue rental, decorations, and entertainment.

The prices for tickets may vary depending on the school and the activities included in the package. It’s important to check with your school’s administration or homecoming committee for ticket prices and any available discounts.

Homecoming Clothing and Accessories

A significant aspect of homecoming is dressing up for the occasion. This typically involves purchasing or borrowing special attire, such as formal dresses for girls and suits or tuxedos for boys. Additionally, students often accessorize with corsages, boutonnieres, and other decorative items.

The costs for clothing and accessories can vary greatly depending on personal preferences and budgets. It’s important to plan ahead and shop around to find affordable options without compromising on style or quality.


No homecoming is complete without capturing memories through photography. Many students hire professional photographers or book photo booths to ensure they have high-quality pictures to commemorate the event.

These services come with a price, so it’s essential to factor in the cost of photography when budgeting for homecoming. Alternatively, students can also rely on their own smartphones or cameras to capture the moments, saving some money while still preserving the memories.


Getting to and from the homecoming game and dance can involve transportation costs. Some schools may arrange buses or shuttles to transport students to the event, while others may expect students to arrange their own transportation.

If students opt for carpooling, renting limousines, or hiring rideshare services, it’s crucial to consider the expenses associated with these options. It’s also important to plan transportation in advance to ensure everyone arrives safely and on time.

Remember, homecoming is a memorable and exciting event, but it’s also important to be mindful of the costs involved. By planning and budgeting ahead of time, students and their families can fully enjoy the festivities without breaking the bank.

Why Homecoming Matters

Homecoming is not just another event in the high school calendar; it holds a special place in the hearts of students, faculty, and alumni alike. Here are a few reasons why homecoming matters:

Builds School Spirit and Unity

Homecoming is a time when students come together to show their pride and support for their school. The events leading up to the big game, such as pep rallies, spirit weeks, and the crowning of a homecoming king and queen, all contribute to fostering a sense of unity and school spirit.

It’s a time when students can proudly wear their school colors, chant their team’s fight song, and cheer on their classmates.

According to a survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Varsity Brands, schools with a strong sense of community and school spirit tend to have higher academic achievement and lower dropout rates. Additionally, students with school pride most often were happy and satisfied and had a higher self-esteem.

Homecoming plays a significant role in creating this sense of community and school pride.

An Exciting Fall Tradition

Homecoming is often held in the fall, marking the beginning of a new school year. It is a tradition that students eagerly look forward to each year. The excitement surrounding homecoming can be compared to the anticipation of a holiday celebration or a family reunion.

It’s a time when students reconnect with old friends, reminisce about past experiences, and create new memories.

Homecoming festivities typically include a parade, a football game, and a dance. The parade showcases elaborate floats created by each class or club, and the football game brings the community together to cheer on the home team.

The highlight of homecoming is the dance, where students can let loose and enjoy an evening of music, dancing, and laughter.

Lets Students Make Memories

Homecoming provides an opportunity for students to create lasting memories that they will cherish for years to come. Whether it’s attending the dance with a group of friends, winning the homecoming game, or being crowned as the homecoming king or queen, these experiences become part of a student’s high school story.

The memories made during homecoming can have a positive impact on a student’s overall high school experience. They serve as a reminder of the friendships formed, the accomplishments achieved, and the joy felt during these special moments.

These memories often create a sense of nostalgia and can bring a smile to a person’s face even years after graduation.

So, why does homecoming matter? It matters because it builds school spirit and unity, it is an exciting fall tradition, and it allows students to create memories that will last a lifetime. Homecoming is not just an event; it is a celebration of the high school experience and the connections made within the school community.


Homecoming is clearly about much more than just a football game. This exciting week provides high schools with a chance to come together, celebrate school pride, and make lifelong memories through events like spirit week, parades, dances, and more.

Now that you know all about the origins, activities, themes, costs, and significance of homecoming, you can take part in the festivities with spirit and understanding!

Homecoming gives students and community members of all ages the opportunity to display their school colors, compete in friendly class competitions, attend the big game, dress up for the dance, and bond over traditions.

The energy and excitement leading up to homecoming is palpable at high schools across the country. We hope this guide gave you a comprehensive overview of everything that makes homecoming so special for millions of high school students each year.

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