No dance this Homecoming; But the beat goes on

Due to state regulations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Cody High School will not host a Homecoming dance.

Due to state regulations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Cody High School will not host a Homecoming dance. Student Council members came up with an alternative plan and are calling it the Neon Homecoming Party.   

In place of the dance, the Student Council organized an alternative night full of games and music. The event is free and will take place on Saturday, Oct. 3rd at 8 p.m. on Spike Vannoy Football Field. 

“Our state guidelines do not approve of hosting social gathering events, and our local public health office is continuing to advise us against that sort of activity [dances] due to their beliefs of how the coronavirus spreads,” said Principal Jeremiah Johnston.  

Wyoming currently allows gatherings up to 1,000 if outside and only 250 persons for indoor events. With a student body of 586 students, the traditional Homecoming dance would not be feasible.  

The 13th continuation of the Wyoming Public Health State Order was released on Sept. 29, and it continues through Oct. 15th. The order eases restrictions at a time when COVID-19 cases have increased in Park County. 

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On Sept. 28th Park County Public Health Officer Dr. Aaron Billin posted on Facebook that “In 4 days Park County has had 21 new cases of COVID-19 (16 confirmed and 5 probable).”

“Our contact tracing shows that most of these recent transmissions are the result of gatherings without masks or social distancing,” said Billin in his regular Facebook updates.

Obviously, dancing and social distancing don’t go hand-in-hand. The dance never stood a chance in compliance with the State Public Health Orders. The Wyoming Department of Health plan, specifically Order 1 Section 2, states any event hosted under the title of a “dance” is not allowed.

But the Student Council would not let the spirit of Homecoming fizzle out.

“With the traditional dance unacceptable, the student council was forced to come up with an alternative option,” said Johnston. “We wanted to create something that would allow student interaction, but would still give the students the desire to come together and be a part of the celebration.” 

Student council members discuss potential Homecoming plans during lunch on Monday. Photo by Landen Gallagher.

“One of the deciding factors to still host an event was to provide an alternative activity where kids could have fun and to keep them safe,” said Student Council sponsor Ryan Beardall. 

Students from Cody High School, Heart Mountain Academy, and COVE Academy are encouraged to attend. The dress is casual with masks required. Students will not be allowed to enter the event without a mask. 

“I was bummed like everyone else when I heard there wouldn’t be a dance,” said sophomore Remy Broussard. “But I think what they have planned is better than not having anything at all.”