The Bluffton Bobcats are kicking their school spirit into high gear this week as they prepare for homecoming. And they're hoping to make this year's festivities a community celebration rather than just a high school one.
With the homecoming game set for Friday, Bluffton High School students have been busy decorating classroom doors and school hallways, brainstorming ideas for parade floats and preparing their costumes for a week of dressing up.
This year's theme for homecoming is "Not Another Teenage Movie." Students will be dressing up throughout the week as characters from "Napoleon Dynamite," "Parent Trap," "Back to the Future" and more.
But dressing up isn't the only way students can show their school spirit this week. Other activities include Powderpuff football and Powderbuff volleyball, a bonfire, pep rally and a parade.
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Bluffton High senior Katelyn Martin, 17, is the chairwoman for this year's parade committee. She hopes the parade will attract more than just high school students this year. Martin encourages community members to come out and enjoy the parade or sign up to be part of it. It's free to participate, but the deadline to register is Tuesday. As of Sept. 29, Martin said about 15 businesses and four community groups had signed up.
"The community has supported Bluffton High School," Martin said. "We want to have a chance to give back. And also the places that are here are a part of where we're all going to be proud to be from one day, so we need to celebrate that."
Several of the high school's clubs, such as JROTC and Youth In Government, will participate in the parade, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday at McCracken Middle School and end at the high school. And other schools are getting involved, too. Red Cedar Elementary School's drum and dance team will be in the parade, as will Okatie Elementary School's band and cheerleaders.
"Homecoming is a time for students that have gone to high school here to not only come back to the high school but to where they're from," Martin said. "And I think that a lot of times homecoming is more of a thing that's only celebrated in high schools. But it's really a celebration of the community and coming back to where you're from."