This year’s Homecoming rival, the University of North Texas, celebrated its first Homecoming 10 years after the first campuswide reunion at MU.
After winning the 1921 Armistice Day game, the UNT yearbook referred to the game’s attendees as “home comers,” according to the university’s Division of Student Affairs.
From then on, the occasion was celebrated with a downtown parade, decorating contest and post-game dance.
While MU shares many of these customs, many current students are unfamiliar with what Homecoming looks like after last year’s festivities were limited by the pandemic.
This year, Homecoming celebrations at MU will again include a talent show, campus decorating competition, parade and football game.
Campus decorations are in Greektown, with themed displays and skits put on by MU fraternities and sororities. The decorations can be seen from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Oct. 8. The event will also be catered by local food trucks.
The Homecoming parade will be held Oct. 9 downtown and include appearances by Marching Mizzou and the Missouri Mule Team.
Catherine Corley, MU Homecoming tri-director, explained what Homecoming traditions mean.
“My freshman year, I had no idea what to expect,” she said. “You walk onto campus the night before the Homecoming game, and campus decorating is going on in Greektown. It’s jampacked with people.”
Corley explained what it’s like seeing Homecoming’s effect on the community: “It’s really special that we do have that here in Columbia. As Mizzou students, we do feel supported by Columbia businesses and members of the community.”
Homecoming at the University of North Texas this year will be celebrated Nov. 7-13 with the game Nov. 13 against the University of Texas El Paso.
The UNT team is known as Mean Green, and its mascot is an eagle called Scrappy.
North Texas also has a number of distinct traditions specific to the university.
A torchlight parade and annual bonfire is a time-honored way to unite fans during homecoming week, according to the UNT Division of Student Affairs.
The event was started on a Friday night, Nov. 12, 1976, during the coldest homecoming of the century.
Andie Jackson, North Texas coordinator of campus-wide events, explained the significance of the bonfire.
“The Talons, our student organization dedicated to perpetuating school spirit, spends an entire week building the bonfire,” Jackson said. “This event is something our students, faculty, staff and alumni look forward to every year.”
“It’s really special that we do have that here in Columbia. As Mizzou students we do feel supported by Columbia businesses and members of the community,” Corley said.