Homecoming is an annual fall event, held in conjunction with a home football game. The date varies from year to year depending on the season schedule for the Tiger Football team. Clemson held its first Homecoming on September 30, 1922, concurrent with the first game of the season, against Centre College. Another account states that the first Homecoming began August 27, 1914. There is no record of a Homecoming being held in 1930 or 1938, but it has been held annually since 1939, even during the war years. Since 1957, Tigerama, one of the largest student-managed pep rallies in the country, has been held on the Friday night before the game. Originally staged in Memorial Stadium, it moved to Littlejohn Coliseum following that building's renovation in 2003.
For many decades, dances were part of the Homecoming weekend, with one on Friday night that was usually formal, and then an informal dance on Saturday night. As the military traditions waned at Clemson following the abandonment of mandatory ROTC for undergraduates after 1969, the pattern of dances gave way to music concerts in the 1970s, held in Littlejohn Coliseum after the football game. This pattern still exists, although the concert scheduling is irregular, complicated by the broadcast scheduling of almost all football games now potentially interfering with an evening event. Prior to the 1980s, only a few Clemson games were carried on television, if at all, and home games were always played in the afternoon.
As part of the event, displays, which at Clemson are known as "floats" even though they are actually fixed-in-place, are constructed on campus, primarily on Bowman Field, by student organizations which compete for prizes. Some are quite massive, being erected using telephone pole supports. The first pole-mounted display was in 1966. The winners are announced at the football game after the judges review the entries at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Also featured during Homecoming events is the Homecoming Queen, who is presented at halftime during the football game. Elected in a pageant the week prior to Homecoming, the winner's name is announced during Tigerama. The members of Alumni Band are annual participants at the football game since 1983. Fireworks conclude the Tigerama portion of Homecoming on Friday night. Originally fired from the parking area outside the west end of Memorial Stadium when the festivities were conducted in Death Valley, the firing line has been moved to the low field near the old Seneca River bed near East Bank as Tigerama moved to Littlejohn Coliseum.
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