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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — This year’s homecoming won’t be like any other at Kaiserslautern High School. The school celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and alumni of all ages are coming back to celebrate.

About 130 alumni, former teachers and their guests will be arriving next week to kick off the Oct. 9-12 homecoming events. Events planned include a reception Thursday evening, Oct. 9, at Kaiserslautern’s Fruchthalle and optional side tours, including a Rhine River cruise Oct. 8, a guided tour of Kaiserslautern Oct. 10 and attending Friday’s pep rally and homecoming game against crosstown rival Ramstein High School.

“The biggest rival back when I was in high school was Frankfurt,” said Dennis “Buzz” Chambers, Kaiserslautern High School Alumni Association representative and 1963 graduate. “At one time, I think for a long time, Kaiserslautern [high school] was the largest American school overseas up until Ramstein High opened.”

While things may have changed in the school’s 50 years, Chambers said that the bond of being a Kaiserslautern Raider has not.

The first all-years reunion was held in Houston in 1988 and the reunions, held every two to three years, continue to grow. Chambers reported that there are currently 6,500 to 7,000 alumni registered with the alumni association’s database.

“One thing is that the dynamic [at the reunions] is always changing,” Chambers said. “The other thing, from my own personal point of view, is that every reunion I’ve attended there’s been some surprise; someone who showed up that I [didn’t expect].”

Chambers’ class of 1963 is expected to be the largest class in attendance, with 12 expected. However, there will be graduates from Kaiserslautern High’s second class of 1954 all the way to 1990.

Those interested in attending the Kaiserslautern High School Homecoming Reunion and 50th Anniversary Celebration can visit the alumni association’s Web site at www.kahsalumni.org or drop in beginning Tuesday at the reunion’s headquarters, the Barbarossahof hotel in Kaiserslautern.

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