Mum-making: a longtime Texas high school tradition

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Many agree that the first homecoming celebration took place in 1911 at The University of Missouri. At some point not too long after that, the tradition of a boy giving a chrysanthemum to his homecoming date as a corsage was brought to Texas.

For decades, mums were simple. They were usually made with a small flower and a few ribbons.

Since the 1970's, mums have become bigger and more elaborate. These days, they are made with long pieces of ribbon and silk flowers.

The floral design program at College Station High School is already hard at work making mums, mini-mums, and garters for their homecoming celebrations that will take place in late September.

The students will spend hundreds of hours making mums, but they say seeing the finished product makes it all worth it.

"Seeing other people enjoy it and use it during the game and take pictures and make memories, and they keep them as a keepsake, so it is definitely worth it," said junior Angelle Smith.

Students in the floral classes typically spend time learning about real flowers, but some of those skills still come into play when working on mums.

"Even though this isn't a real flower piece, you still need to use those design elements," explained Smith.

The money raised from the mum and garter sales goes back to the floral design program. The money allows them to fund one more floral design project throughout the school year.