The Spirit Splash
It's a relatively new tradition, but the students at the University of Central Florida show their school spirit by getting their legs wet.
As part of homecoming festivities, students rush into the Reflection Pool in the heart of UCF's campus (all at once) and attend a pep rally the Friday before the homecoming football game. The pool is no more than two feet deep, meaning the students are up to about their knees when watching the rally, which usually includes a concert.
Some say that the "Spirit Splash" draws more students than the football game.
Unlike many traditions, the Spirit Splash started in recent years, and was made possible in part by a presidential visit decades earlier.
According the UCF student newspaper, then-president Richard M. Nixon visited Orlando in 1973. Looking for an ideal place for Nixon to speak, it was decided that the Reflecting Pool would be drained, strength-tested to see if it could support the weight of thousands of people, then used as the audience area for Nixon's speech.
It passed the test, and Nixon spoke just months before the Watergate scandal broke. Knowing it could support the weight of thousands of students, the Reflecting Pool soon became home to one of homecoming's most unusual traditions.
Small-town Parade in the Big City
Known for its amazing weather, Southern California is home to 25 million people--one of the most densely populated areas in the world.
Yet right in the middle of it all is a growing city with a small-town feel--complete with small-town homecoming traditions.
San Clemente is one of the few cities among the Southern California coast that still plays host to a homecoming parade for its high school. San Clemente High--the only high school in the bulging town--is honored with a parade through the city's charming downtown. It's a slice of small-town America in the middle of the big metropolitan area.
The festivities, like many homecoming parades across the United States, include floats, a convertible procession featuring the king and queen, and hundreds of spectators lining the downtown sidewalks. The community then heads to the stadium that night to watch the Tritons play their homecoming football game.
In Southern California, it's a tradition that may only be possible in San Clemente, located on the southern edge of Orange County between Los Angeles and San Diego.