Preview: Homecoming to be held — indoors — Saturday

Anna Feng and Sophia Yang

For the first time in three years, Palo Alto High School’s Homecoming dance this weekend will be held indoors, as a result of security concerns and relaxed COVID guidelines.

The dance will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Small Gym. 

In preparation of last year’s Homecoming dance, Associated Student Body members Ines Legrand and Cindy Wang create lantern decorations. According to Legrand, ASB social commissioner, students at Saturday’s 2022 Homecoming will have access to a variety of refreshments — including mini doughnuts, snacks and drinks — with additional food options for those with dietary restrictions. “We have basic snacks like bags of chips and popcorn like we had last year,” Legrand said. “We’ll also have fresh doughnuts on the spot and there’s a topping bar where you can put toppings on.” (Photo: Leena Hussein)

According to Student Activities Director Steven Gallagher, the decision to move Homecoming indoors was made primarily as a result of concerns regarding ticket intake and security. 

“Ultimately what it came down to is, the gym is easier to set up and secure, and it’s also easier to take in tickets,” Gallagher said.

Following the chaos last month at the Paly vs. Gunn football game, Ines Legrand, ASB social commissioner, said Paly administration had expressed concern over security at Homecoming, which was a factor in moving the dance indoors. 

“With events like the Paly-Gunn game, I think admin had some issues with the security of Homecoming,” Legrand said. “They just felt like the gym was easier to secure because there’s less fencing and there’s just less ways for people to get in.” 

ASB Social Commissioner Kennedy Do said another reason Homecoming was moved indoors was because of the relaxed public health guidelines. 

“Last year we had to have Homecoming outside due to Covid, but this year things are starting to get more normal,” Do said. “It’s also just easier having Homecoming inside because a lot of people were breaking in last year.”

To address spacing concerns, Do said ASB is planning to expand Homecoming to other areas beyond the Small Gym.

“Our catering will be outside, so when people are eating you have the option to be outside as well,” Do said. “There’s also going to be another room dedicated to snacks and games as well, so things will be more spaced out.”

In an effort to make this year’s theme more unique, Do said ASB decided on the theme of “Disco.”

“We were just looking for something fun because our [previous] themes tended to be very generic like ‘night under the stars’ [last year’s Homecoming theme],” Do said. “We wanted to try and do something fun and different, but that was still easy to do.”

Legrand said ASB will also be setting up a variety of photo props, which will hopefully add to the liveliness of the dance.

“We will have disco balls and cool backdrops that people can take photos with,” Legrand said. “Hopefully it will just be a very exciting event that everyone can come to, to have fun.”

According to Gallagher, guest passes will be available for this year’s Homecoming, resuming the pre-pandemic precedent. 

“You basically pick up a form and fill it out and then get Mr. Berkson to sign off on it,” Gallagher said. “Then the guest has to put [their] information down and get a signature from their assistant principal.”

Tickets are $15 with ASB cards and $20 without and can be purchased online on the Paly Webstore or at the door.