The Friday night excitement of homecoming games at Merced and Buhach Colony high schools was preceded earlier in the day by downtown parades for each school in Merced and Atwater.
Residents and alumni lined the streets while many costumed children took advantage of the opportunity to preview their Halloween personas while scrambling for candy thrown from lavish floats.
Middle schools also participated in the parades with their marching bands and cheerleaders in full splendor.
The homecoming courts, a highlight for many, were led by each school's 2008 homecoming king and queen. Later that evening the Buhach and Merced 2009 homecoming kings and queens were crowned at the football games' halftime.
Buhach won their homecoming game against Golden Valley with a sweeping 69-19 victory while Merced lost to Atwater in the final seconds of the game with a 21-20 defeat.