Hilliard students trade dance floor for big screen to celebrate homecoming

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group

As the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continues, some school traditions have had to be modified.

For example, homecoming, one such autumn rite of passage, could not include the traditional dance or other social activities for Hilliard City Schools students at Bradley, Darby and Davidson high schools.

But students at each school came up with creative alternatives, scheduling “movie nights” at Huntington Park in Columbus’ Arena District, said Stacie Raterman, director of communications for the district.

Darby’s homecoming football game was Sept. 18, and students celebrated with a theme of “PJ’s and Plastics” on Sept. 19.

Bradley’s homecoming football game was Sept. 25, and students celebrated “A Night under the Stars” on Sept. 27.

Davidson’s homecoming football game was Oct. 2, and students celebrated “A Night at the Movies" on Oct. 7.

Students from Hilliard Davidson High School enjoy homecoming festivities Oct. 7 during “A Night at the Movies" in Huntington Park in Columbus.
Students from Hilliard Darby High School enjoy homecoming festivities during “PJ’s and Plastics” on Sept. 19 at Huntington Park in Columbus.
Students from Bradley High School celebrated homecoming Sept. 27 during “A Night Under the Stars” at Huntington Park in Columbus.

“When I found out homecoming was canceled, I was upset but not surprised,” said Davidson senior Chase Freeman. “I miss everything from football Friday nights seeing my friends and dancing at homecoming ... (but) taking a negative outcome and turning it into a fun activity is one of the most important things to do in order to help students get through this tough school year.”

Freeman said the frustration experienced this year would help him in the future.

“As a member (of the) executive student council, I am proud to have helped plan Davidson’s movie night," he said. "We tackled the difficulties and created a safe event to give students something to look forward to.

“This year proved to be one of the most difficult years of my life, (but) I think I’m prepared to deal with adversity in my future.”

Darby senior Alex Chawla said the although he, too, missed the traditions of homecoming, the alternative provided a unique experience.

“We made the most of what we could do," Chawla said. "We enjoyed an outdoor movie, (and) it was fun.

“We really missed having a dance, dressing up and going out to dinner, but the movie was a great alternative.”

Bradley senior Andie Miller said she was thankful to have the opportunity to still experience homecoming.

“Of course, I missed the normal homecoming traditions that we weren’t able to do this year," Miller said. "I would have really loved to be able to do the homecoming parade, (but) I’m glad (the court) was still announced and got to walk across the field with our families.

“Dressing up, taking pictures and going to the dinner and dance is fun, but I am extremely thankful for what we were able to do. (Homecoming) was different this year, (but) I think we came up with lots of great alternatives to make us all happy and involved. The movie at Huntington Park was a great time spent with friends.”

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo