Homecoming Kicks Off at Oakdale High School

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Riley Frutiger

Pictured above are three of the tickets on sale for this years “Homecoming Disco”

Riley Frutiger, Writer

Homecoming has been a staple activity in high schools across the country, and that is no different here at Oakdale High School. The school has a full week of festivities, starting with spirit days leading up to Friday, which hosts the annual pep rally to get students excited for the football game that evening. To cap off the week, the Homecoming dance on Saturday night, the highlight of the week.

Last year, these events did not occur due to school closures amid the Covid 19 pandemic. However, things are not quite back to normal just yet.

Some new protocols this year include moving the pep rally outside, allowing for better social distancing and accommodations for the growth in population. Another big change is mandating masks at the dance. Previous plans announced for the dance stated that it would be held outside on the tennis courts to allow for students to not need to wear masks; however, it was recently moved into the cafeteria.

There is only one entrance and exit to the tennis courts. And if you have six hundred plus people in a tennis court, that’s not safe”

— Principal Lisa Smith

Lisa Smith, principal at Oakdale High School, elaborated on the decision, saying that, “We thought ‘oh the tennis courts would be great. That’s a great location, let’s do that,’ but pointed out that, “There is only one entrance and exit to the tennis courts. And if you have six hundred plus people in a tennis court, that’s not safe. If there were any kind of emergency, we couldn’t get people out, and that seemed irresponsible on our part.”

Smith did admit that there were alternate locations to host the dance, such as the American Legion pavilion over by Tree Trekkers; however she could not recall if it either did not have enough space or was not available. Either way, it was unable to be secured as the venue for the dance.

Despite the effort, it seemed like the only possible solution was to hold the dance in its normal location of the Oakdale High School cafeteria with a mask mandate. While most students had some gripes with the unfortunate circumstances, they all seemed to have the same sentiment, that the safety of students was far more important than not being able to wear lipstick.

Senior Cait Mitchell admitted “It’s gonna be hot. […] I’m not gonna be able to wear lipstick, which is gonna suck. But it is what it is.”

However, these safety measures have not dampened the spirit of our Oakdale Bears. When asked about what she was looking forward to most this coming week, Freshman Rosie Bonbrest, who is a part of the large group of students who are about to experience their first homecoming, stated, “All the fun little outfits you get to wear to school, that seems fun.”

Spirit Days have been staples of Homecoming weeks, and this year, even with the masks, is no different.

Monday kicks off the week with rocking red, white, and blue for ‘Merica Monday, followed by reviving old trends on Throw it Back Tuesday, then Wednesday will be highlighting the classic high school rivalry of Mathletes vs. Athletes, followed byDisco Day on Thursday for the homecoming theme, and Friday will be Class Colors. Freshman in white, sophomores in grey, juniors in black and seniors in tie-dye.

The goal is to bring out the school spirit in our students, especially after being apart for so long, and everyone is expected to participate. Smith wanted to ensure her Bears that she just really wants “people to have fun and have school pride, and just really be proud to be bears”.