Time, location create educational exclusives: 1987 graduate reflects on CFHS traditions that have disappeared

Things have changed a lot in the past 30 years at Cedar Falls High School. The halls your parents may have roamed here have seen some traditions come and go. School activities that once dotted the calendar have disappeared. Does the saying “the good old days” ring true? Here are some festivities that did not make the cut over the last three decades.

Jeremiah Longnecker, a history teacher and 1987 CFHS grad, has seen both sides of the spectrum. Longnecker recalled one popular pastime was cruising. Packing your car with friends and hitting the strip made for a night on the town. Cruising was simply driving up and down University Avenue on Friday and Saturday nights.

“It sounds dumb today, but that’s what you would do,” Longnecker said.

“Generally you would cruise from the Hardee’s on University to the stop lights on College Street.”

After making a u-turn, you would turn around and cruise back, seeing the same people over and over again. The cooler the car, the better.

“It sounds so silly today.”

One tradition that has remained is homecoming. While the typical assembly and powderpuff game remain, the week was packed with many more activities. Downtown business windows were painted in anticipation. The week ultimately ended in a parade. Each class had volunteers that constructed floats and worked on them the entire week, leading up to the Friday afternoon parade.

“School got out at noon the Friday of homecoming week,” Longnecker said.

The floats made their debut from the high school and snaked their way through the downtown parkade.

“It was a huge event,” Longnecker said.

Longnecker fondly remembered another event that has passed, Spring Fling. Organized by the Student Senate and with administrative approval, “It would be a half day where we didn’t have school, and there would be different activities that were taking place in different areas,” Longnecker said.

Various bands formed by high schoolers performed in the auditorium. They were able to showcase their talents and entertained the crowds.

“There was also tug of war,” Longnecker said. “Before Jell-O wrestling, we actually had mud wrestling. That was out front.”

It was student against student. Matches were held throughout the afternoon, and commentary was announced through a bull horn.

“Students worked the various activities. There were lots of different activities that students could sign up for and do,” Longnecker said. “It was a blast.”

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