Homecoming used to be just that -- college students going home to visit their alma maters.
Now, the celebration focuses more on current students than past ones.
"It's changed to mean a spirited week with a number of activities to break the routine," Moffat County High School Athletic Director Jim Loughran said.
The student council started outlining Homecoming plans in May but solidified them at a September retreat.
"I think Homecoming is a week of fun in school, an excuse to have a laid-back week," Student Council media relations director Billy Richards said. "It's the one week out of the year that school spirit is really high."
Activities, with a few exceptions, were confined to two days to disrupt the teaching schedule as little as possible, Richards said.
"We've got a lot of participation from teachers," he said. "We've packed the activities into a couple of days so there's not so much disruption. Teachers really appreciated that."
Students are in for an activity-filled week that will make last week's midterms fade in memory.
On Monday, students arrived in a riot of flowers and color for Caribbean dress-up day. Those without tropical attire had the option of purchasing leis and flowers through a student council fund-raiser. For lunch, students got a taste of the islands with alcohol-free piÃ±a coladas.
"That went over really well," Loughran said.
After school ended, the competition heated up. The school hosted a role-reversal, with the boys going head-to-head in "macho volleyball" and the girls tackled "powder puff football."
The activities continue today as students will arrive dressed in costumes mimicking their favorite ethnicity.
Float building will begin at 4 p.m. Instead of having all week to cover trailers in colored tissue, students will only have two days -- eight hours to complete their entries.
"We're just trying to get more students interested and not worn out," Loughran said.
On Wednesday, students will clean out the linen closets to make togas for Greek dress day. They'll have a limbo competition at lunch and a short time to put the finishing touches on their floats.
On Thursday, students can either dress as the "Crocodile Hunter" or in cowboy garb.
"We're a rural area, so students should be able to get a hold of something cowboy," Loughran said. "We're trying about everything we can to get kids involved."
Thursday will culminate with a tailgate dinner for firefighters before the annual bonfire.
Friday is the apex of the celebration with a pep assembly and coronation occurring at 10:30 a.m., a parade at 1:30 p.m. and sporting events in the afternoon and evening.
At Friday's football game, chances to throw a football 35 yards through a window will be sold. If someone is lucky enough to get the chance and make the shot, they win a car donated by Victory Motors.
There also will be fireworks provided by John Ilko.
"I think we're the only school in Colorado that has fireworks for Homecoming," Loughran said.
Organizing the number of events is a huge load for student council, Richards said.
"It's a big bang that student council not only does, but one of the few things it gets credit for," he said. "I think (Monday night) really jump-started the rest of the week."
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031 or by e-mail at email@example.com.