Homecoming week, the second week in October, is rapidly approaching, and freshmen through seniors are preparing for the festivities.
Activities begin during the weekend, with hall decorating on Sunday, Oct. 8. Each grade is assigned a hallway in the high school, and they decorate it based on their theme. This theme is chosen by the grade, and most materials are provided by the activities department. The hallways stay decked out for the whole week, and add to the festivities.
During lunch on Monday, Oct. 9, there’s a pie-eating contest in the courtyard. Each grade chooses a boy and a girl to compete for their grade, and the competitors are given a pie, mostly full of whipped cream, to scarf down as fast as possible. Sawyer Board, a senior who participated last year, said, “It was fun, even though we got second to the seniors.” It usually attracts a large crowd, and each class is very supportive of their participant.
The dance contest is during lunch on Tuesday, Oct. 10 in the main gym, and a group of representatives from each grade dance for around two minutes, whether they have a piece of choreography ready or not. This activity always has a big crowd, including both students and faculty.
On Wednesday, Oct. 11 at around 6 p.m., students flock to Henderson Stadium for the annual homecoming bonfire, in conjunction with local fire departments. West Side Fire and volunteer firefighters from the high school craft a massive bonfire, which is usually vibrant by around 7 p.m. The evening activities include the truck push, mattress race, and a dance afterwards. Although the seniors often dominate the night’s challenges, the underclassmen always put up a good fight.
Thursday, Oct. 12, arguably the biggest day of the week, is air guitar day. It takes place before lunch, during an hour and a half long assembly. Each class has a seven to 15-minute performance prepared, displaying their very best dancing, tumbling, and theatrics. Lindsy Weseman, the new activities director, described air guitar as “its own beast,” and said, “It’s on a completely different scale of excitement.” The staff also get to a chance to strut their stuff, and perform an air guitar themselves.
Troy Tactay, a math teacher, said, “Air guitar is my favorite event all year. It’s fun to look dumb in front of the kids. They like to see us outside of the classroom setting. The competition is going to be fierce, and countless students and staff are (anticipating) the arrival of air guitar day, to say the least.”
The Friday, Oct. 13, main event is the football game, but the pep assembly comes in a close second. The cheerleaders perform their homecoming routine at the assembly, which they’ve spent endless hours prepping for during the week. Maddi Simonds, a senior cheerleader, said, “We run the routine until it’s dead, and then we run it some more.”
“If you’re more dedicated to looking good than working hard, you won’t come out alive,” said Lilly Robarts, another senior cheerleader. They also teach a cheer to the classes to ramp up the enthusiasm for the homecoming game. Before the game, from 5-6:45 p.m., there’s a tailgate outside the football stadium with games, free food, and friendly competitions. Students and staff are encouraged to wear blue and yellow to support their Eagles, and their spirit is almost always through the roof. The football game, against the Pendleton Buckaroos, starts at 7 p.m., and includes the homecoming court coronation, along with another short performance from the cheerleaders.
Saturday, Oct. 14 marks the end of homecoming week, with the dance from 8-11 p.m. Tickets are available throughout the week during lunch, and are also available at the door. It’s a formal occasion, and students go all out with their looks. Brynne Holman, a freshman at HRVHS, said, “I’m most excited to get ready with my friends for my first homecoming.”
Everyone at the high school can agree that HRV homecoming is an amazing, busy time. The excitement is building, and the high school will be buzzing with spirit in the coming week.
“Homecoming is pretty amazing here,” said Weseman.
“It’s better at Hood River because the activities are engaging,” said Tactay.