The first Naperville Central homecoming in two years will be held on Oct. 2. This year’s arcade-themed “Dance Dance Revolution” dance will take place outside to better allow for following COVID-19 guidelines.
“Obviously, we’ve had to make some changes,” said Lynne Nolan, Dean of student activities at Naperville Central.
Homecoming will be on the track area at the end of the football field.
“There’s lots of lighting we can use, and it also makes more sense in terms of what space we can utilize.” Senior Class Council President Anusha Kumar said.
Because it will take place outside, the dance will be canceled if there are thunderstorms Saturday night. Students will not be refunded their ticket costs, but may receive a t-shirt. The ticket revenue will go to future events.
The shift to an outdoor setting will also affect how attending students dress.
“[The dress code] should be like what it normally would be with the exception of shoes,” Nolan said. “Since we’re outside, we’re asking [for] tennis shoes, crocs, ballet slippers or flats.”
Other things that are subject to change as a result of the location shift is the way snacks and refreshments are offered.
“We are having the cafeteria open for refreshments, so we’ll put on the patio some tables and have the patio doors open to the inside” Nolan said. “Home and School do prepackaged home baked goods… and then water and lemonade.”
Masks are required indoors.
“When we’re outside for the assembly, masks are optional,” Nolan said. “The number of people in the bleachers will be far below capacity.”
With student safety as a top priority, how staff will enforce the regulations put into place becomes a topic of discussion.
“I think [teachers will enforce it] how they enforce it during the school day” Kumar said.
While it’s been some time since Central held a typical Homecoming, semblances of normalcy exist.
“We’re still gonna do karaoke in the honor garden on Wednesday, and the car show out there,” Nolan said. “I’m glad we’re having it, the fact that we can do something is awesome.”
Finding a balance between a feeling of normalcy and safety is key for homecoming under these circumstances.
“I don’t want to give it up,” Nolan said.
The students and staff involved are very set on making this year’s homecoming actually happen.
“I’m hoping that people will still have fun… it should still be a good experience for everyone, [it] just might be a little different,” Kumar said.