Above: The NoHoCo Dance logo.
This is the story of the little homecoming dance that wasn’t … until it was. At least, with a different name. The NoHoCo Dance will be held Saturday, Oct. 23, on the field at Eldredge School, under two tents, organized by parents eager to offer a way forward for the traditional fall event after a series of complications arose around the EGHS homecoming dance, some of them COVID-related.
The message from the high school administration on homecoming had been muddled, according to some parents. First, they were told it would be postponed or a winter formal dance could take its place. Then, there was a proposal to hold it in the courtyard at the school on Friday, Oct. 22. Traditionally, the dance is on a Saturday because of competing events Friday night, particularly sports.
EGHS Principal Ken Hopkins did not respond to several requests for comment.
As often happens these days, parents started talking on Facebook, with many expressing the hope that homecoming could take place. After all, they were seeing photos on social media of other homecoming dances around the country.
According to parent Julie Navarro, the conversation turned to, “‘If the high school can’t do it … can we as a community pull off a dance for the kids?’ That’s really how it all started. And once it started, it really took off.”
Within a week, Navarro said, it was pretty much planned.
“It was really this insane rallying of the community to give our kids this – to not miss out on another activity,” she said, referring to activities and events that have been cancelled during the pandemic. Navarro said about 10 parents were the original organizers, but added, “ honestly, help keeps pouring in!”
They’ve had people donating money, businesses offering sponsorships, and ticket sales have been brisk. Navarro said tickets are $20 but they have a block of tickets set aside for those who can’t afford the price (email [email protected] for more information).
There will be a police detail – donated by The Academy Foundation – one entrance/exit, wristbands for attendees that must be worn, COVID protocols (a signed attestation and temperature check) and there will be no re-entry.
Navarro said the response has been amazing. “It’s really everyone coming together on this, we are all blown away,” she said. “I’ve never experienced anything like this before. There’s so much good will in the community.”
The NoHoCo group is talking with school officials about a possible collaboration, but Navarro said, “The event will happen regardless of their official participation – it is our gift to the students.”