The History of Bloomsburg’s Homecoming Celebration
This weekend marks Bloomsburg’s 81st consecutive Homecoming celebration. The Bloomsburg Huskies are matched up against West Chester this Saturday with hopes of declaring their 10th win of the season. They are currently ranked #1 for the week of October 27th in the NCAA Super Regional 1. Before we even begin looking into the future though, take time to look back at the beginnings of the tradition that we all know as Homecoming.
The first Bloomsburg Homecoming was celebrated on November 17th, 1928. For many colleges, Homecoming was created as a way for both alumni and students to come together, meet up with some friends, and enjoy a game. Unfortunately, the Bloomsburg football team played their rivals that year, the Wyoming Seminary of Kingston, and lost 25-0.
During the next couple of years after the first Homecoming game, Bloomsburg students and faculty started working together in order to organize more events for the special weekend. Events included decorating the university and the town with colorful streamers that represented both school’s teams. In 1931, the Maroon and Gold band was founded and provided the spectators with live entertainment, which was previously done by the local high school band.
1934 was a year of big technological change for Bloomsburg. Speaker systems were installed in the stadium, allowing for a more in-depth analysis of the game and play-by-play announcements. The speaker systems got the fans more into the game and kept them much more informed.
Other activities during the weekend included dances in the gym, a band concert in the morning, lunch, dinner, and tea. This was a typical schedule during Homecoming except during World War II. In 1942, a soccer game was the focus of Homecoming and the following year two squads from the Navy V-12 program played each other in a football game.
Believe it or not, the Homecoming Parade was not established as such until 1958, even though pep parades began in 1954 the night before the big game and were followed by a bonfire. Now the Homecoming parade is a known tradition in many colleges and enjoyed by the students and community alike.
This year’s Homecoming is going to be very monumental seeing as Bloomsburg has not yet beaten West Chester in a single Homecoming game as of yet. So come out and show your support for the undefeated Huskies by wearing gold for the “Gold Rush.” Keep the tradition alive and make this year’s Homecoming one for the history books.
All information and photos courtesy of Bloomsburg Library’s Archives.