URBANA, Ill., (WCIA) — High schools across the state are preparing for homecoming celebrations this weekend. Urbana High School kicked off its festivities Friday afternoon for the first time in two years. 

This year’s homecoming looks a little different than years past, their school doesn’t have a varsity football team this year and there won’t be a game. 

It’s not stopping students and staff from having fun. Parade floats packed Urbana streets on Friday after school. 

Christine Rickenberger, one of Urbana High School’s assistant principals, said each grade level created a float and worked together over a course of three nights. 

“It’s a great team building, spirit, bonding, activity that they come and do and they all have their own theme,” she said. 

This year’s homecoming theme is “let the games begin.” 

Various staff members kicked off the parade in convertibles and with Urbana’s mascot, a tiger. 

The marching band followed behind playing the classic, “Hey Baby.” 

Rickenberger said students have been showing school spirit all week, and it continued into Friday’s activities. 

“We’ve been honoring our fall sports during this week too, so some of the fall sports are in the parade as well,” she said. “We have some of our clubs, like African American club, Latino club, the choir is marching in the parade, so it’s a really great showing of our whole student population.” 

She said she’s glad they could have a normal celebration this year, after COVID roadblocks in the past. 

“I think it’s just really special that we’re just coming back strong and ready to show our team spirit,” Rickenberger said. 

On Saturday, students will gather at the school for the traditional homecoming dance.