Homecoming Corsage Photo Courtesy Suzie Kostick, AIFD, CF, PFCIIt’s back to school time, which means football games, pep rallies, parades and homecoming. For many high school students, this much-anticipated day is the first big social event of the school year. For college students and alumni, the big game and the many social events surrounding homecoming are an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and celebrate the big game.

Flowers have long held a place in the homecoming celebration. From the “football mums” for sprit week, lush bouquets of flowers for the queen and her court to the corsages and boutonnières for the dance, homecoming is in full autumn bloom.

Depending on where you reside in the country, your homecoming rituals may vary, but one consistent component is flowers. And really, what better way to show off school sprint than with corsages, football mums and roses?

Let’s take a closer look of some the staples when it comes to homecoming flowers. 

Homecoming Boutonniere - Photo Courtesy Dov Kupfer, AIFD

The Football Mum

As the story goes, “homecoming” originated at the University of Missouri in 1911, although some accounts have it starting at Southwestern University in Georgetown Texas — which may be where the tradition of the Texas homecoming mum started. Regardless of its origins, homecoming was meant to be a huge celebration around the big football game that included pep rallies and parades, picnics (later to become tailgating) and dances. And the tradition was born.

Not too long after, somewhere in Texas, a new tradition was emerging, the tradition of giving your homecoming date a chrysanthemum. In the beginning, these mums were simple, a small flower with a few ribbons and streamers most likely in the school’s colors.

In the 1970s homecoming mums began their evolution into what we see today. Today’s homecoming mums are a complete expression of the wearer’s personality, hobbies and school activities. The once small corsages are now giant displays of school pride.

For most if its existence, the homecoming mum has been a Texas tradition with other states giving it an occasional try. Today, the homecoming mum can be found in its many forms throughout the country being used as part of fundraising and club projects.

The Homecoming Dance

Homecoming Corsage Photo Courtesy Suzie Kostick, AIFD, CF, PFCIIn years past, school socials and dances were a bit more formal than what we know them to be now. Girls wore dresses and boys wore jackets and ties. It only stands to reason that corsages and boutonnières were considered necessary for such a special occasion. When the Homecoming dance became a part of the celebration, boys and girls flocked to their neighborhood flower shops to order beautiful corsages and classic button holes for the dance.

Present day homecoming dances differ only slightly from the prom in the spring. Dress is a bit more casual and all are invited to attend, but corsages and boutonnières are still considered a necessary accessory for the social evening.

The Homecoming Court

What would a festival be without a King and Queen to preside over it? The tradition of the homecoming court is as old as the homecoming celebration itself. With students selecting its most active peers to represent the school during the weeklong festivities. Tradition varies from school to school as to when the King and Queen are announced, but whenever it happens, flowers are part of the crowning ceremony. It is tradition for the Queen and her court to carry a lush bouquet of roses or autumn blossoms during their many appearances. The King and his court sport boutonnières often in school colors.

The Homecoming Parade

Boutonniere - Photo Courtesy Dov Kupfer, AIFDMany homecoming celebrations include a parade with marching bands, floats and classic cars decorated with balloons, flowers and all sorts of fun and colorful decorations. Homecoming parades are a great way to involve civic organizations and local businesses.

As we all prepare for the start of another school year, know that your local professional florist is well equipped to help with all the floral and decorating needs that will be part of the many homecoming celebrations. Reach out to your neighborhood florist and seek their professional assistance for dance corsages and boutonnières, presentation bouquets for the court and decorating supplies for all the events and parades. Your local flower shop stands ready to help with all your homecoming floral needs and to cheer their hometown team on to victory.