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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
Collage of Local Legacies
Two students show young boy technique for decorating a parade float, 1989.
Two Aggies watch a future Aggie "pomp" -- stuff crepe pager through chicken wire form to decorate a float. Photo: Randy Stotler, Stillwater Press, 1989

Oklahoma State University Homecoming

Homecoming is one of Oklahoma State University's great traditions, and each year thousands of alumni from around the world return to their alma mater in Stillwater to renew friendships, remember their special experience and reconnect to Oklahoma state. It is one of the largest traditional university homecoming celebrations in the country. Festivities include a Friday evening "walkaround" for visitors to view large, elaborate public displays called "house decorations," a Saturday morning parade down Main Street with floats, bands, horses, and politicians, and the homecoming football game and related events.

Since its inception in 1890, Oklahoma State University (OSU) has grown into a major land grant university with nearly 20,000 students. The university's alumni association has been serving OSU and its alumni since 1887 through its many programs, including homecoming.

Homecoming has its roots in the Harvest Carnival, which began in 1913, and included agricultural exhibits, a Harvest Queen competition, a parade, and an evening carnival. By 1920, homecoming had replaced the Harvest Carnival, and in 1921, the alumni association adopted homecoming as an official association event. The parade continues to be a major activity at homecoming. In the 1920s, sororities began decorating the doorways and exteriors of their houses, which have led to elaborate house decorations on the lawns of fraternities, sororities, and residence halls.

Documentation includes a text report, photographs. a brochure and a video of the 1990 winning "house decorations"during homecoming week.

Originally submitted by: James M. Inhofe, Senator.

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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