A time-honored tradition with lasting power for my family.
My family doesn’t have a lot of traditions that last from year-to-year. There are a lot of reasons why this could be—people passed away, siblings grew up, got married and moved away, etc.—but one tradition that lives on in our family is coming together for the Kansas State University Homecoming every October.
This tradition started for me in 2008 (the year after I graduated college) when I came back on Homecoming weekend to visit my sister and friends who were still in school. But even after everyone graduated and moved away from Manhattan, I still wanted to go back and celebrate my alma mater with my family. At first it was just me. The next year, I roped my Dad into going with me. Thankfully, my aunt and uncle—who live about an hour from Manhattan and are also K-Staters—were willing to let us stay with them for the weekend. It’s grown from there, and this year we had 14 people staying at my aunt and uncle’s house! We’ve even added my in-laws to the party!
Every year is the same routine. On Friday, we get to Manhattan, eat at our favorite local restaurant So Long Saloon, stroll through campus, pick up coffee at my favorite local coffee shop and watch the Homecoming parade. (Dan calls it a trip to “Heather’s Favorite Things.”) After the parade, we drive to my aunt and uncle’s house in Marysville, KS. They live in the country and have a gorgeous view of the countryside. Yes, Kansas is gorgeous… to me. 🙂
Saturday is game day. After breakfast, we drive to Manhattan, find a tailgating spot, eat lunch, throw around the football and hang out until it’s time to head into the game. Depending on if we bought tickets or not, we’ll either go find our seats or head to a bar in Aggieville to watch the game on TV. After the game, we have dinner and a bonfire back at aunt and uncle’s house in the country.
On Sunday, we have a leisurely breakfast before everyone packs up and heads home again. However, last year my sister gave me a baby shower on Sunday and this year I gave her a baby shower (post coming soon)!
K-State Homecoming weekend is an accidental tradition that has stuck for our family. With everyone’s busy schedules, living long distances apart and in-laws to visit during the holidays, it’s harder and harder to get everyone together. However, since so many of my family members (sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles) are also alumni or fans of K-State Athletics, it’s a fun excuse to get together in the fall for our own holiday.
Homecoming didn’t mean much to me as a student but I appreciate it differently after I became an alumnus. It’s the perfect tradition for my family and I think it’s here to stay.
Joie de vivre and family traditions,