Homecoming is tradition. Let’s not forget that traditions change and evolve, sometimes by accident, other times by necessity and occasionally by deliberate decision.

Ellsworth High School has its big game Friday against Somerset. This will be the standard American football — grunts and punts, tackles and cheers.

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One of the newer “traditions” is the homecoming chili feed at 5 p.m. Only 17 years old in this community where the first school bell rang in 1857, the feed raises money for the senior class party.

Meanwhile across the river, Red Wing High School had its scheduled opponent, La Crescent, pull out. The district had to find a gridiron alternative. The choice: Girls’ soccer. Totally appropriate (albeit not by design) given that 1) the nation is gearing up to celebrate the 19th Amendment and 2) what we call soccer the rest of the world knows as football.

Will a new tradition be born where the honor rotates among the teams? Football next year, but volleyball in two?

Of course, homecoming is much more than any game. By its nature, homecoming provides numerous reasons and ways to celebrate, How can you join in?

Wear those school colors. Demonstrate school and community pride. You will feel part of something special.

Attend one of the many events — some serious and some not-so-serious, but all fun. Homecoming week isn’t only for students, staff and alumni. This is about residents of all ages supporting local young people and our schools, on and off the field.

Connect and reconnect with the community. Make a few new friends. Network to find that next job (or someone to fill that job). Enjoy the esprit de corps.

Welcome home, everyone.