June 4, 2009
Maroon and Gold Day 82 years old and going
By Joe Vukelich
Maroon and Gold Day is, by far, the most memorable
day of the year for anyone who ever went to Denfeld. We celebrate
it on the Friday of homecoming week each fall.
Homecoming week at Denfeld gains momentum with
theme days. For example, Tuesday is “Coronation Day,”
when the student body elects its homecoming king and queen.
The school is divided up by classes, which decorate
the whole school. The competition for the class who wins the “Maroon
and Gold Day Decorating Contest” is fierce. All week long
at these events people talk about what they’re going to wear
Finally it’s Friday: Maroon and Gold Day.
Virtually everybody dresses up in maroon and gold. There’s
always a contest to see who can be the “Maroon and Gold Day
King and Queen,” which translates into who has the most creative
and/or outrageous wardrobe on.
The winner usually has to be announced because
you can’t really tell who they are because of the maroon-and-gold
face paint, pom-poms, hats, helmets and whatever else is covering
For the record, Maroon and Gold Day started in
the autumn of 1927. The Oracle noted: “A newly formed pep
club organized maroon-and-gold flowers for students, maroon-and-gold
canes for teachers, football emblems were everywhere and the team
dressed in ‘D’ sweaters. Songs were sung at the assembly
because it was Denfeld’s day.”
You’ll notice four traditions were started
that day: Maroon and Gold Day, locker decorations, football players
wearing the colors and songs at assemblies. That’s 82 years
of Maroon and Gold Day tradition!
Through all of the very different eras —
the Depression years, the war years of the ’40s, the turbulent
’60s and on through the Internet kids of the 2000s —
Maroon and Gold Day reaches across the generations virtually unchanged.
That’s what makes it unique, powerful and, truly, something
bigger than itself.
Joe Vukelich is a Denfeld economics teacher,
alumnus and president of the its alumni association.