Denfeld News

June 4, 2009
Duluth Budgeteer News

Maroon and Gold Day 82 years old and going strong
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 Friday.

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 their face.

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.

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