It was the start of a new week at Hood River Valley High School. Buses arrived Monday, teachers drove in, all ready to begin the day.
Strangely enough, five colors -- gray, black, blue, yellow, and red -- unmistakably appeared on the staff and student body. Yet none of this was unplanned.
It wasn't just a normal Monday -- it was the start of Homecoming Week.
Homecoming normally comes at the end of October, not in the first week of the month. It caught some of the students off-guard, but in spite of the alteration, students and staff have been actively participating in the school activities.
Homecoming was moved up to avoid a conflict with next week's teacher in-service, in which students are out of school Thursday and Friday. The football team has an away game scheduled the following week, and Oct. 28 would have been too late, said assistant principal Steve Fisk.
"We know it's early for Homecoming, but it'll be a nice weekend for a football game, and the kids have adjusted well," Fisk said. "We've got some great hallway decorations, and we'll have a great homecoming."
Monday (class color day) started off with the annual kick-off assembly. Tuesday (sports/western day) was Ribbon Day, had karaoke at lunch, and held the first Homecoming games for volleyball and girls soccer. During lunch today (camo/red, white, and blue day) there will be a pie eating contest, and the ever-impressive bonfire at 6 p.m. Thursday ('80s and pajama day) contains the long awaited Air Guitar at 10:40 and the next sports events for volleyball and freshman football, both starting at 5 p.m.
Friday starts with the Homecoming Parade at 1 p.m in the Heights. At 4 p.m. is the freshman boys soccer game, which is topped off with the varsity football at 7:30 p.m. At the game, the Homecoming court will make their grand entrance, and this year's king and queen will be announced.
This year's princes are Kevin Collins, Nestor Elisea, Juan Garcia, and William Peng. The princesses are Mickie Halliday, Tara Level, Angie Martin, and Mari-Beth Ortega. Voting for king and queen is today.
Saturday ends the week with the Homecoming Dance from 8 to 11:30 p.m.
"We encourage all parents and community members to see the parade on Friday and the game that night," Fisk said. "We've got some great kids here and they're doing some great work. Homecoming is a truly positive activity at Hood River Valley."