ST. LOUIS – After more than a year of canceled events, a high school tradition of celebrating the homecoming dance is returning to some area schools on both sides of the river with COVID-19 protocols in place.
Parkway West High School kicked off homecoming festivities Friday with a parade and a football game.
It will be a weekend to remember at Parkway West High School as the long-awaited traditional homecoming festivities return.
However, since COVID-19 is still a concern, it’s forcing many districts in the St. Louis area to move the celebration outdoors.
“We are going to go outside and it’s going to be spaced out, we’ve got some good room. Mother nature kind is being kind to us, so we really expect it to be a great evening for everybody,” Parkway West High School Principal Jeremy Mitchell said.
Mitchell said the students are so excited to be back in the classroom and have actives like this.
“This is a feeling that high school and homecoming is like its always been from this year to years past that’s why I think people are really excited we will have our biggest crowd in 12 years,” Mitchell said.
Rockwood, Mehlville, and Webster Groves school districts also decided to have dances outdoors in order to adhere to health and safety protocols.
In the Metro East, Edwardsville High School will have a variety of activities next weekend prior to the homecoming football game, including a dodge ball tournament.
On Saturday, there will be a big outdoor homecoming dance in the high school’s parking lot due to COVID with music, dancing, and fun.
For any mild inclement weather, there will be tents on site, according to Edwardsville Community Unit School District 7 Superintendent Dr. Park Shelton.
Another change this year is that guests from outside the district will not be permitted at the homecoming dance to limit the number of people in attendance.
The superintendent said he’s glad things are getting somewhat back to normal.
“The more activities we can provide for students the better connected they will be in general,” Shelton said.
School officials said they want to make this year’s homecoming feel as close to normal as possible with the goal of providing a safe environment.