BELFAST — Belfast Area High School students enjoyed the return of homecoming during the week of Oct. 3 this year after it was canceled due to COVID-19 last year. There was no parade and Friday’s football game and dance were postponed because of active coronavirus cases in the school.

Each class competed against the others in a number of categories, including hallway decoration, dress-up day participation and attendance at sports and other homecoming events. Seniors came in first place with 475 points, according to Student Senate Adviser Molly Ross. “All in all, I was thrilled with the week, especially in light of past COVID restrictions on school activities,” she said.

A bonfire and outdoor viewing of the movie “Shrek 2” Wednesday drew well over 200 students, she said. Going into the event, she was pleased with the energy and effort students had put into their hallways, which were completed and judged by Oct. 4.

Seniors’ hallway theme was Hollywood, juniors’ theme was ’80s, sophomores’ theme was Halloween and freshmen’s theme was Wizard of Oz. Each hallway had to incorporate school pride and was judged by an anonymous panel of school staff.

Sophomores at Belfast Area High School decorated their homecoming hallway with a Halloween theme. Photo by Kendra Caruso

The varsity and junior varsity football games had to be postponed at the last minute because a number of team members were in quarantine because of possible COVID-19 exposure. The dance was also postponed.

As of Oct. 8, the high school had three positive coronavirus cases and several students in quarantine because of possible exposure, Superintendent Mary Alice McLean said in a weekly newsletter.

Student Senate President Grace Hall felt it was important to hold a homecoming this year because this year’s freshmen and sophomores have never had a homecoming, and juniors have only had one homecoming.

She said it seemed like there were more people participating in decorating class hallways this year compared to previous years. “I think the more people you have excited about it, the more you get excited about it,” she said.

The event is a chance to encourage healthy competition among school peers in a positive and fun atmosphere, she said.

Belfast Area High School juniors decorate their hallway with an ’80s theme for homecoming. Photo by Kendra Caruso

Belfast Area High School’s freshmen class decorated its homecoming hallway with a “Wizard of Oz” theme. Photo by Kendra Caruso