After being canceled last year due to the pandemic, Homecoming festivities are returning to the Tyler Junior College campus. This will be some students’ only chance to participate in Homecoming.

pie chart of homecoming events
Graphic by Colton Hollis

Homecoming starts Oct. 18 with the Drumbeat opening ceremony, which is a tradition dating back to 1948. The event consists of students signing up to bang on the Apache drum. The story goes that if the drum cadences are kept up for every day of Homecoming leading up to the game, the team is going to win. However, if the beating ever stops then the team is going to lose the football game Saturday. Lauren Tyler, director of Student Life at TJC, explained why the Drumbeat is significant for students and alumni. 

“I think that it is because it involves everyone to accomplish that goal. From employees, to staff, students, alumni, everyone comes together for one purpose,” Tyler said.

For student organizations, there’s the opportunity to show school spirit through decorating offices, making a spirit flag and signing up to have a float in the parade. The theme for this year’s Homecoming is “From Virtual to Reality.” Organization members can gain points for participating in Homecoming events that help their organizations rise in tiers. The higher tier an organization is, the more privileges they earn. 

Decorated spirit flags will be displayed on Oct. 18 in the Rogers Student Center, with judging of any decoration competitions being Oct. 19. All organizations will be reimbursed $100 for the office decorating, $50 for the float, and the Center for Student Life and Involvement will provide certain supplies for the spirit flags. The deadline to return receipts for reimbursements is Oct. 25. 

Homecoming King and Queen elections will also begin Oct. 18 until Oct. 20. Voting times are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All recognized organizations are able to elect a nominee for both King and Queen.

Another upcoming event is the campus supply drive that will also generate points for whatever organization a student may represent. Any student can bring non-perishable items to the CSLI on the second floor of the RSC if they want to give back to their community. Collection begins Oct. 18 and ends Oct. 20. 

There will be a virtual reality exhibit set up outside the RSC on Oct.19, which also happens to be the date of The Campus Capers Talent Show. 

The Homecoming dance is on Oct. 20 with a late-night breakfast event following at 11 p.m. in Apache Junction.

There is the Apache Nation parade on Oct. 21, where TJC students can come support all things TJC Apache. There will then be a block party and pep rally in front of the Pat Hartley Field. There will also be a campuswide scavenger hunt on Oct. 22 for Find it Friday. 

This whole week of fun and festivities concludes Oct. 23 when the Apache volleyball team takes on the North Central Texas College Lions at noon, and the Apache football team takes on the Blinn College Buccaneers at 3 p.m. at Rose Stadium.