A Blast into Homecoming’s Past

Amelia Nored, Staff Writer

Imagine the homecoming dance: everyone dressed up in their finest attire, dancing to the top songs from the 21st century, and taking pictures with friends inside Liberty’s cafeteria. It’s easy to picture what homecoming is like now, but what was homecoming like decades ago?
Kelsey Foote graduated from Liberty High School in 2009. Since then, Homecoming has changed in many ways, removing some traditions from the dance, the level of school involvement in homecoming, and homecoming culture overall.
“Everyone went. It was so much fun! The whole school was involved,” Foote said. “We would actually dance for hours.”
Now, many homecoming groups attend the dance for less than an hour, or skip the dance and opt for dinner, pictures and a party instead.
This isn’t the only difference between now and then. Foote described the aspect of people being asked to homecoming as less of a big deal when she was in high school. She attributes this to the lack of social media in the past, making asks less publicized.
The way that one person asked another to homecoming differed greatly between previous decades and now. Liberty alumni Tiffany Vermulen, who graduated in 1992, recounted her memories of homecoming asks.
“Most boys would ask the girl in person, but they didn’t have a poster and all the different props that boys usually have nowadays. Sometimes, they might have flowers, but that would be the extent of it,” Vermulen said.
Since Vermulen’s graduation, a few old homecoming traditions have been discontinued.
“At the assembly the Friday before homecoming, each grade would have a certain amount of people dress up in a different decade and do a skit in front of the school,” Vermulen said.
Homecoming parades were also a traditional part of the dance. Each grade created a float that the homecoming royalty would ride on, and homecoming king and queen were announced at the parade. Additionally, some friend groups would pass around a binder filled with pictures from the night so they could share and relive their memories.
“I wish there was something that would make the dances more of a priority for everyone to want to go to now like it used to be,” Vermulen said.
While the amount of people getting involved in homecoming has decreased over the decades, homecoming remains an important high school event to welcome back alumni and give students a night to remember.