By Rosalyn Kutsch Hawk Talk Editor in Chief
Fall is a favorite season in Bozeman. There are so many things to enjoy: crisp air, colorful leaves, hunting season, hay mazes and homecoming at Bozeman High School. This year we’ll celebrate with an entire week of special activities and social events, as well as the football game Oct. 25 and the dance Oct. 26.
Every year, the BHS Student Council kicks things off by sponsoring “Spirit Week,” during which many students attend classes dressed according to a different theme each day. One popular tradition is “Class Color Day,” when each class wears a designated color – the seniors always don pink. This leads up to “Red and Black” on Friday, when everyone wears the school colors.
Friday includes a crowded, noisy, high-energy pep assembly, where the fall sports teams are introduced. A rowdy and color-coordinated student body boisterously sings the school song, watches a rousing performance by the cheerleaders, attempts to out-shout each other, plays crazy games, and listens to the much anticipated pump-up speech from Coach Purcell. The Homecoming Court is announced during the assembly, as well.
The festivities continue with a homecoming parade down Main Street after school on Friday. Dozens of BHS clubs and groups put together floats to represent their organizations. The clubs must follow a theme – this year’s is “Hollywood.” Also slated for the parade is the Anderson School House promoting its annual haunted house, and an alumni float.
Students typically march back up to the high school stadium after the parade to get good seats before the main event: the homecoming football game. BHS students use this game as an excuse to go wild! Football fans or not, few students miss the lively atmosphere of this game.
Many alumni are recognized, the marching band puts on a brilliant half-time show, and the homecoming king and queen are announced. Unlike many high schools, the selection of BHS homecoming royalty is by no means predictable, which makes it all the more fun. While not all these traditions are necessarily unique to BHS, the level of participation they bring forth is particularly impressive.
Nearly all students continue celebrating homecoming on Saturday evening. Some will attend the annual homecoming dance with dates or in large groups. Others will opt to gather with friends for a fancy dinner out on the town, bonfires or movie parties.
Local alumni report that most of these homecoming traditions are longstanding. The clothing fashions may have changed, but the traditions are largely the same as those in practice back when they were students. An exception might be the fairly new practice of devising creative, unique ways of asking each other out to the homecoming dance.
Homecoming weekend is a welcome respite from the challenges of the academic semester. The majority of the student body looks forward to this week of tradition, and the level of enthusiasm and school-spirit never seems to disappoint.