It’s a week of high pep in Cambridge and Deerfield.

With the two high school Homecoming celebrations coinciding, there are two bonfires on Thursday night. Two parades on Friday afternoon. Two football games on Friday night. Two dances on Saturday night. And a myriad of other crazy fun activities that have been scheduled throughout the week. All within a 5-mile radius.

It’s a testament to alumni, school staff and the two communities in general that our Homecoming celebrations remain about as Norman Rockwell, Midwest small-town as you can get.

We hope, as has happened elsewhere, that our local Homecoming parades and other festivities never fade away out of concern about things like the liability in pulling kids down Main Street on flatbed trucks. Or simple apathy and indifferent dismissal of long-held traditions. We hope no one ever concludes that Homecoming no longer matters here.

If you’ve never been to a Cambridge or Deerfield Homecoming parade, skip out of work, come out of your house and be inspired by the kids, the just-changing fall colors, and the excitement in the October air.

Help line the downtown streets. Bring your preschoolers and your grandchildren.

Cambridge only has one other parade, on Memorial Day. And this is Deerfield’s sole parade of the year. So, this is a big deal in both towns.

Come to the bonfire and thank the local firefighters who keep that activity safe.

Attend the game and cheer on all the young people involved – the cheerleaders, the football team and the band, all of whom have been working hard to get ready.

Recognize that being on Homecoming Court senior year at a small, rural Wisconsin high school is a special moment. Help this year’s court members embrace it by being present.

And while you’re at it, take time to partake in tailgate cookouts. If you’re in Deerfield, buy some Lions chicken. Because in the midst of all the revelry, we have to eat. Appreciate the groups that offer food and add to the atmosphere.

A lot of research has been done in recent years that shows kids who are supported by their community do better in life. Our annual Homecoming celebrations are a chance to show we’re behind our kids enough to spend an entire week cheering them on. And to have fun ourselves in the process.

So, have a good time. Catch some candy. Don your school colors. If it rains on Friday, as the forecast doggedly says it will, bring an umbrella. Be there anyway.

Happy Homecoming.

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