OTTUMWA — At first, only one student came to the school steps for Neon Day — and he was the photographer.
"Is anyone else coming?" asked Andreas Wilz, an Ottumwa High School junior.
"We are!" called a student and a friend.
Eventually, nearly 50 students poured out of the school dressed in screaming neon colors. Orange, pink and yellow dominated. Even a couple teachers got into the school spirit, including one wearing neon socks.
Teacher Allison Neumann is the student council adviser.
"Each day, we'll be taking group shots on the stairs during advisory," she said.
Today, she added, is Superhero Day.
But of more importance to some students is the election they'll be taking part in.
"The kids vote for Homecoming King and Queen," Neumann said.
They'll have to wait until Thursday to find out who the pair will be this year. The coronation comes after the Homecoming Parade, which starts winding its way through downtown Ottumwa at 6 p.m. It'll end at Central Park near City Hall. It's hard to know exactly what time the parade will end, she said, but it's usually about 6:20 p.m.
"After that is Open Mic Night at the high school 6:45-8:45 p.m. Then there's the bonfire over at what they call 'The Pit,'" Neumann said.
At school on Thursday, students are invited to celebrate their favorite band with "Concert T-shirt Day."
Friday is another big day for the Bulldogs.
There will be a pep assembly for students. It's Wear Red and White Day, and, of course, the game against Marshalltown. After that, there's the Homecoming Dance.
"During halftime, the class float and the homecoming court will do a mini-parade around the field on the track," the adviser said. "The theme for homecoming this year, because it's the Bulldogs vs. Bobcats, is 'It's a dog-eat-cat world.'"
— To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark