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What Is High School Homecoming?

by Lily Morgen
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High School Homecoming

Homecoming, or Hoco, is an annual traditional weeklong celebration in many high schools, colleges, and universities in the United States. It usually starts out with a spirit week and typically takes place in September or October. A football game may be the most important part of high school homecoming.

The tradition of high school homecoming dates to the 20th century. Its original goal is to welcome back alumni to visit their high school and see teachers, old friends, and classmates. It is named homecoming because graduates return to their school like going back “home”.

What Is The Purpose Of Homecoming

High school homecoming is a way to celebrate the new school year. It serves as a time of reunion for alumni, current students, new freshmen, faculty, and staff of the school. 

Homecoming, which reflects the cultures and values of a school, is a favorite period of the year for many students. Its purpose is to foster a sense of belonging and togetherness among students and faculty, as well as to promote a sense of school spirit.

What Grades Go To Highschool Homecoming?

Homecoming is often open for all different grades and years in a high school. It is a fantastic opportunity to interact with alumni, fellow students, and teachers.

Essentially, homecoming is a game that invites all present high school students to join with passed graduates to show school spirit and think back to the good times and memories they had at high school. 

It ties you all together to honor your school. It’s also easy to strike up a conversation with alumni because you already have something essential in common – the same high school. Besides playing together, you can hear and learn about their’s expertise, and listen to their stories and passion when they’re in high school. 

What Happens At Highschool Homecoming?

Sometimes, homecoming can consist of a week of a series of events. During homecoming week, there are a variety of events held to welcome alumni and celebrate their school’s history and heritage.  

Although every high school has its own homecoming traditions, there are many common activities among them. These include a pep rally, parade, homecoming court, a big football game, dance, and more.  

Homecoming Court

Before the homecoming game, students vote for the homecoming king, queen, princes, princesses, and other elected student representatives to make up the homecoming court.

Once elected, the court members are responsible for leading the homecoming parade, attending pep rallies, dancing, and hosting school activities throughout the week of homecoming. The king and queen are typically crowned during a ceremony before or after the game.

The homecoming court is an opportunity for students to get involved in their school and demonstrate leadership. It also serves as a way of recognizing students who have been active in their community and/or made outstanding contributions to the school.

Every girl wants to be the homecoming queen, and every boy wishes to be the homecoming king. They’re generally the most popular girl and boy at high school.

Pep Rally

A pep rally is a short form of the term “pep assembly”. Before the homecoming game (football game), high schools typically host a pep rally in the school gym to get the student body excited and enthusiastic.

At a pep rally, the cheer squad cheers and the band plays fight songs. It boosts school spirit and fuels the enthusiasm for the football team to play to their highest potential to win the big game.


Parades are also an important part of homecoming as they allow the whole school to come together in support of their team and show their spirit.

Parading at the school or near the school, students can be seen dressed in their favorite teams’ colors, proudly marching for the whole community to see. Everyone is in high spirits and filled with school pride.

Leading the parade are typically floats, which can be decorated by students. These floats usually have a theme that relates to their team, but they can also be creative and funny. 

The parade is often filled with music, chants, and cheers. Cheerleaders and mascots march alongside student groups, clubs, and sports teams. 

Through parading and showing off unique decorations and handmade floats, students get the chance to recognize past accomplishments while looking forward to the future.

Parades offer an opportunity for the school to reflect on its rich history and traditions, as many floats often incorporate elements from the past such as school mascots, sports teams, and other symbols of pride.

Football Game

The football game that takes place on a school’s home football field is one of the main events during homecoming, as it often brings out fierce competition between rival schools. The classic high school football game can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, as each team strives to prove their dominance in the rivalry. 


The homecoming dance is usually held in the high school gym after the game or the next day. It is a semi-formal event, where students are encouraged to dress up in their best outfits. During the dance, students date, socialize, and dance.

The king and queen of the homecoming court will be given a spotlight dance. 

The homecoming dance is usually an opportunity for all students to step away from their regular school work and have some fun. It’s also an important part of the high school experience, that students will remember for years to come.

What’s The Difference Between Prom And Homecoming?

When it comes to high school dances, two of the most popular events are prom and homecoming. Though both are big celebrations for teenagers and involve lots of fun, there are some key differences between them.


The main difference between prom and homecoming is the time of year they take place. Homecoming is typically held around the beginning of the academic year in September or October, while prom takes place at the end of the school year in late April or May.

Meanwhile, prom typically lasts all night, from the time you get ready for the event to when you arrive home in the early morning hours. Homecoming is much shorter and usually ends with a dance or after-party that lasts no more than 5-6 hours.


Prom is usually held at an outside venue, typically a banquet hall or ballroom, while homecoming is usually held in the school gym or auditorium. This allows for prom to be more of a formal event with decorations, music, dancing, and more. Homecoming on the other hand is usually more laid-back and may involve activities such as games or a football game.

Who Can Attend

Homecoming is more open than prom. Most high schools limit prom to only seniors and sometimes juniors, but homecoming is accessible to everybody that studies or studied in this school, even if you’re a freshman.

Prom is a Formal Event Whereas Homecoming is More Casual

Another huge difference between prom and homecoming is the dress code. Prom is traditionally a formal event. Men are expected to wear tuxedos and women wear long, floor-length gowns. Homecoming, on the other hand, is much more casual. Jeans and sundresses are appropriate for homecoming; there’s no need to go all out with extravagant outfits like you would for prom.


Homecoming is usually an event that celebrates alumni and the current senior class. It’s a time for friends to reunite and celebrate the school’s achievements. However, prom is an event that often focuses on young girls. Boys may bring a date or attend as part of a group but traditionally prom is considered more of a girl’s event.

The point of prom is to have one final enjoyable event before graduation for the senior class. It is the last time for the whole class to get together and celebrate, and also an opportunity for them to make lasting memories before saying goodbye – go their separate ways.


Prom is often more expensive than homecoming since the nature of the event. Not only do you have to pay for a dress or tuxedo, but there may also be additional costs associated with getting your hair and makeup done as well as tickets

The differences between prom and homecoming may seem insignificant, but they’re actually quite distinct events with unique traditions. 

Homecoming and prom are two distinct but equally enjoyable events that students look forward to each year. Though different in many ways, they both offer a chance for teens to have fun and make memories in their high school experience.

Final Thought

High school homecoming is a wonderful time of the academic year. Make plans to go to some events. You don’t have to attend everything, but give one of the larger events and perhaps one of the smaller ones a try. Simply enjoy yourself and shoot some photos. When you look at these recollections, you’ll miss the good high school days and remember them fondly.

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