Orion Homecoming starts Sept. 23.

Mindy Carls
Orion scoreboard stock

“Hollywood Homecoming” is the theme of Orion High School’s 2021 celebration.

The parade will start from the OHS student parking lot at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23. Paula Mathena, high school secretary and registrar, will be the grand marshal.

After the parade, the dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. on the grounds surrounding Charger Field. Spectators will not need to wear masks but will be asked to practice social distancing. If the weather is bad, the dinner will be cancelled.

The Homecoming coronation and pep assembly will be at 6:30 p.m. at Charger Field. School officials are recommending spectators bring chairs so they can spread out. They will not have to wear masks.

On Friday, Sept. 24, the court will be introduced at 6:30 p.m. at Charger Field. If rain forced cancellation of the coronation on Thursday, it will take place Friday night.

The football game with Erie-Prophetstown will kick off at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Sept. 25, the Homecoming dance will be at 8 p.m. at Love Park. The Homecoming court will be announced at 8:15 p.m.

At 8:30 p.m. students will choose whether to participate in an outdoor dance or an outdoor movie allowing social distancing. They will not have to wear masks.

In case of rain, the dance will continue in the pavilion at Love Park. The movie will be shown in the practice gym at OHS, where students will have to wear masks.

Tickets will be sold in the high school office. Students may invite an out-of-town guest as long as they submit a dance guest form ahead of time.

“Homecoming this year is a sign of hope and new adventure,” counselor Jen Bakener said. “Every day our hallways are becoming more and more filled with energy, conversation, and laughter, something we have greatly missed over the last 18 months.

“We are learning new ways to have fun while keeping everyone's safety our number one priority,” she said. “COVID has taught us to think outside of the box. What always was and has been, may no longer be, so we are learning new ways to have fun and bring life back into our schools.”

“Our goal is to provide a Homecoming experience that continues past traditions but preserves our students’ ability to attend school and participate in extracurriculars,” Principal Nathan DeBaillie said.

Monday, Sept. 20, is the deadline for submitting parade entries to Bakener or the OHS office. Forms may be found on the Orion Family page on Facebook. Scroll down the right side to the Homecoming parade entry form.

The form asks for the name of the team or organization participating in the parade, a description of the entry (walking, tractor, riding in a car, riding on a truck, float, multiple trucks), contact information for an adult associated with the entry, and special notes.

Entries should be in the student parking lot between 4 and 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 23. No one will be allowed to park there or to drive through. Large groups must load in Love Park, at Orion Middle School or on the street.

Candy cannot be thrown from vehicles or floats. Walkers may pass it out.