Even though it’s not official for a couple more weeks, fall is here. Pumpkin spice is in full swing, Friday Night Lights are back, and the leaves are getting closer to changing if they’re not completely fried from the summer drought. One of my favorite things during the fall is Homecoming, some of which are already taking place.

When I moved to Frisco at the age of 10, it was nowhere close to the huge, bustling city it is today. It was a two-light town that shut down every Friday night to watch our small 3A football team take on local rivalries. All of the residents could pretty much fit in the stands, but now 10 high schools play most of their games at the Dallas Cowboys training facility.

Homecoming was a huge deal back then. It would start with spirit week with a different theme each day for students to participate. Friday would be the day we all debuted our decked out mums and garters, with a bonfire pep rally at the football field later that night. Saturday morning was one of the best traditions, the homecoming parade. If you weren’t marching, you lined Main Street waiting for the grand marshall to make their appearance. Later that evening was the football game, which was the one game you didn’t miss. The high schoolers usually had a dance following the game, but most everybody packed the local restaurants to recap the week’s events.

I participated in this tradition for seven years, and sadly after I graduated high school in 2003, the tradition slowly started to fade. The growth in Frisco was so fast; they opened a new high school nearly every other year for the past 16 years. All of those new schools have their own traditions. And, with the town’s rapid evolution into a city, the traditions of yesterday slowly faded.

When I go to visit my mom, it saddens me to see the hometown from my childhood erased by high rises and toll roads. They even relocated their downtown a few years ago. The once Main Street that held our precious homecoming parade almost looks like a ghost town in an old western movie. The water tower still stands, but it is not surrounded by the shiny, new, modern buildings like the new downtown.

I took my kids there for Spring Break and drove them around my old “stomping grounds.” It was fun driving by the old football stadium, showing them the roads we used to walk down before games to get a delicious treat from the famous “snow cone lady.” I was amazed that I still knew my way around those roads and had fun sharing some of my favorite memories from my childhood.

Change is inevitable; growth is unavoidable. But, I love the traditions that are still kept alive here in Guadalupe County. The pride for your schools and traditions are strong and grows with the addition of new families. It’s not something many communities can do, but with the love and heart of this community, these traditions will be around for a very long time.

Elizabeth Engelhardt is the publisher for the Seguin Gazette.

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