On September 4, upwards of 200 students formed a line that wrapped halfway around the administrative building, waiting in anticipation to purchase their homecoming dance tickets. Themed “Homecoming on the Hollywood Red Carpet,” this year’s event was held at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. Last year’s homecoming, also held at Earl Warren, was a great success, and an upgrade from previous years at the UCSB Hub.
“We held it at Earl Warren so we could hold 1147 kids,” said leadership teacher and event organizer Mr. Solis. “If it was held at the Hub, where it has previously been, only 850 kids would have been able to go. That was almost 300 more kids that were able to go.”
Many students were wondering why homecoming was scheduled for so early in the school year. Some felt that it did not leave a lot of time for people to purchase their outfits, or to figure out plans.
“There was no other day that matched the football schedule and that Earl Warren was open,” said junior class president Jacqueline Chan. “How early it was was really stressful, especially on all of our officers, me, Mr. Solis, and everyone in admin.”
The day of the dance, students had already eagerly lined up an hour before the 8 o’clock dance. In an effort to make the check in process more efficient, a fence was set up to help contain the line. However, as more and more people began to arrive, a cluster formed at the end of the fence. Everyone was pushing inwards to try to get a better place in line. For claustrophobic students, it was uncomfortable and potentially dangerous.
“I’m already trying to figure out how to do the entrance line better,” said Mr. Solis. “Last year there wasn’t a line; there was a cluster. This year we had the line, and there was a cluster at the end. All it takes is one group to come in and cut, and it becomes a cluster. But it was better than last year. Last year it took us an hour and 45 minutes to get everyone in, and that was less kids. This year we got everyone in within an hour. So, it worked better, but it was not a good situation to have everyone cluster at the end of that line. It has to get better, because I do not like that. When you have that many people trying to squeeze into that area, it’s not good.”
The venue was beautifully decorated in the theme of old Hollywood. A nice addition this year was a couch area with a projector screen playing old movies like Young Frankenstein. Students could also play video games using the screen.
“The best part was playing Mario Kart,” said senior Finn Gamble.
DJ Don Henry played both classics and hits, and while most students loved the music this year, others thought some of his choices were questionable.
“While Don Henry comes with recommendations from all three high schools, he consistently overcharges ASB and has lackluster music selection and performance,” said an anonymous ASB officer.
However, most saw the dance as a success. Both the students who attended and those who planned it agree.
“I believe it really was a success,” said junior Jacqueline Chan. “It was our largest one yet; we had around 1150 kids. There were a lot of people there, and I think most people had fun.”
The night under the Hollywood lights was one to remember. Whether this was their first or last homecoming, most everyone can agree it was a blast.