By Journalism I student Ben Rigney-Carroll

With Homecoming planned for Sept. 22, many students will be getting dressed up, taking pictures and going to a nice dinner before attending this year’s ’80s themed dance. Though the traditional image of Homecoming involves a formal dinner, complete with suits, dresses, and fine dining, some students are making other plans.

Sophomore Josie Stewart attended last year’s Homecoming in the traditional formal fashion, complete with a date and fancy dinner. Stewart went with her group to 3rd & Hollywood, an upscale American restaurant located in Grandview. Though she made no complaints about her experience there, she was part of a growing trend that is pursuing a more casual option for dining before school dances.

For last year’s winter formal, which she attended with a similar group, Stewart ate at Steak ‘n Shake, which she enjoyed less than the previous year’s formal dinner.

“I think the formal dinner was just nice because you don’t get to do that often with your friends, just sitting down with them at a circular table and getting to talk to everyone while your all just up, that doesn’t happen very often,” Stewart said.

Freshman Colin Vanik said his Homecoming dining choice has a great deal to do with who he goes with. When going with a date, he would go somewhere formal. f he were to go with his friends, on the other hand, he would prefer something more casual, like a Buffalo WIld Wings.

Another factor in students’ decisions to attend less formal dinners is price. When paying for two meals at a high quality restaurant, students often pay upwards of $50-$60. many students are choosing to handle the bill differently. Junior Gaia Phillips said  that regardless of whether the guy pays for her meal, she “has no issue with it.”

Depending on your taste, the same $60 that would get you 2 average meals from a nice restaurant could get you a feast at a sports bar or diner. Putting the experience itself aside, “If you’re there with friends, it really doesn’t matter,” Phillips said.