Homecoming festivities immune to pandemic

The past few months, the only thing crowned with the regard of a king has been the Coronavirus and the only dressing up has been in the form of masks. This week, however, students and staff alike are attempting at some degree of normalcy through the annual homecoming celebrations, with some modifications.

In the same way that the 2020 graduation ceremony had to adapt to our “new normal” so, too, will homecoming and that, unfortunately, means saying “until next year” to Neon Nation on the field this Friday night. The annual homecoming pep session has also been put on the back burner until further notice.

While the gathering aspect of homecoming is not a reality in our current situation, administration has worked hard to ensure that remaining traditions continue on, specifically the crowning of a homecoming king and queen.

“50 years from now, we don’t want them to look back and say, ‘why didn’t they have a homecoming king and queen in 2020?’” Principal Mr. Bitting said.

Homecoming court nominations were announced Friday with Casey Bane, Kyler Bills, Mason Englert, Dyllan Floyd, Matt Lepper, Hunter Mertz, Andy Newman and Sam Stricker on the ballot for king and Bridget Bane, Estella Fath, Lauren Feely, Erin Karber, Sarah Mullins, Alena Nelson, Rylee Nuckols and Alex Shaw on the ballet for queen.

Administration also recognized the importance of dress up days in restoring a bit of normalcy in a time that is anything but.

“If having a spirit week where we can dress up and hopefully celebrate a little bit in crowning a king and queen helps in any shape or form, I think it’s a good thing,” Mr. Bitting said. “Spirit week will just feel right.”

Today is “Marvel Monday” followed by “Drip Day” on Tuesday, “Whacky Wednesday,” college day on Thursday, and spirit wear day on Friday.

Next in line after homecoming is, of course, semi-formal with many students wondering if there’s room for the dance in our “new normal.” Conversations amongst administrators and student council have already begun.

“Maybe it gets bumped,” said Mr. Bitting. “Maybe we can’t do it when it’s scheduled in November. Maybe we can do it in January. I’m open to those kind of suggestions and conversations moving forward.”

Regardless of semi-formal’s fate, the pandemic will not be cancelling homecoming entirely thanks to administration’s commitment to student normalcy.

“For me it’s a matter of ‘let’s try to do something,’” said Mr. Bitting. “Let’s try to get as close to ‘normal’ as we can get.”