The final day of homecoming spirit week is “Red, Black, and Bow Day.” Students earn spirit points by wearing red and black colors, and can earn extra points for every bow that they wear. For most, a bow or two might suffice, but the senior class, knows that the “bow dress” brings home the spirit stick.
To make sure that the senior class wins the spirit stick at the end of the pep rally, the “bow dress” is passed down within the marching band, usually to the senior flutist. But this year, the dress was worn by Laria Seyfried, a senior saxophonist.
“It feels really special to be the one wearing it this year. I’m wearing the dress because it’s a tradition started by a senior woodwind many years ago, and this year it’s my turn to help the seniors win,” said Seyfried.
Seyfried’s effort was not to be outdone, which was seen by four other students created their own bow outfits. In fact, the Class of 2021 won the spir
it stick–not because of the number of bows, but because of their previous participation in contests throughout the week.
The tradition began when drum major and Class of 2014 member Rachel Cleveland thought of a plan to guarantee that the seniors would win the count for “Red, Black, and Bow day.”
Seyfried said, “Usually there are senior flute players, but this year there are not. Two years ago there were no senior flute players so Allie Hudson (clarinet) wore it. This year there are no senior flutes and senior clarinet player Ryan Miller, who, unfortunately, is unwilling to wear it [the dress], so it is my turn.”
Although Miller wasn’t able to fit into the dress, he still found a way to add to the tradition. The night before the pep rally, Miller constructed a Bow Shirt which contained 400 bows.
The dress contains more than 2,000 bows. Each year a bow is added to represent the senior class’ graduating year. This year the dress contains 2,020.
“To me, the dress symbolizes the years gone by. Every year I see the senior wear the dress and think, ‘it’ll be my turn one day.’ In the past, it felt so far away, but now here I am with 3 years of memories behind me. Maybe there’s a freshman looking at me and thinking ‘I’ll be there someday, and then the cycle continues,” said Seyfried.
Check out this gallery of some of the former bow dress recipients to see how the tradition has grown.