GVSU prepares for Family Weekend


COURTESY \ Campus Activities Board Last year’s Family Weekend 5k Run/Walk.

Katherine Arnold, Staff Reporter

From Oct. 4-6, the Campus Activities Board (CAB) and other student organizations unite to contribute to the annual Family Weekend, with three days of special guests and family-oriented fun that spans not only Grand Valley State University campuses, but all over West Michigan. With Project 1 and GVSU’s Shakespeare Festival open during the same time, everyone can participate in activities both large and small. 

“These events offer a great opportunity to spend some quality time with family, while also getting to know Grand Valley,” said CAB president Jessica Fillmore. “Events take place all across campus, offering an opportunity for families to see campus outside of a structured tour.” 

On Friday evening, Dueling Pianos will return in the Grand River Room for an evening of music and competition, as well as refreshments and snacks. The same evening, Battle Bots and The Grand Rapids Symphony will also be presenting their shows at 8 and 10 p.m. in Grand Rapids. No matter what type of entertainment you prefer, the variety prepared for this year ensures there’s something every family can enjoy. 

The 5K Walk/Run will kick off Saturday’s events at 9 a.m. on Allendale’s campus. Participants will be meeting at the Student Services Center to journey around GVSU’s campus and take in the beautiful fall weather. For a smaller and more personal experience, students and their families can join the Sailing Club for their fourth annual golf outing with the team, alumni and friends. The Kindschi Greenhouse Tours will also be held on the second floor of Kindschi Hall, where the first 30 visitors will receive a free plant, in addition to experiencing the amazing fauna the greenhouse has to offer. 

Starting at 3 p.m. in the Fieldhouse Arena, Facebook Parents Social Hour is being held for all of the parents of GVSU students to socialize and get together in-person with other Facebook friends. Shortly after the social hour, Family Tailgating will begin in the Fieldhouse at 4:30 p.m. Food will include hamburgers, coleslaw and more while families have time to hang out with their students and get in the Laker spirit before heading over to the stadium at 7 p.m. 

The tailgating event has occurred for many years, which is part of what makes it so special. “The entire weekend carries a feeling of community and GVSU pride,” Fillmore said, “But it’s always nice to see families meeting and enjoying their time together at the Family Weekend Tailgate that is a staple of Family Weekend.” 

Later on Saturday, CAB is hosting a show new to the Family Weekend line-up featuring the mentalist Mat Lavore. Popular at college events and well-known for his skills as a magician, mind reader and hypnotist, his show has been making its way through universities all over the country. Stop by the Kirkhof Center at 9 p.m. for a show that will be sure to be a wild ride of entertainment and delight for everyone who attends. 

The only student-run Renaissance Festival in Michigan returns for its 24th year, prepping to highlight the weekend with themed festivities. The festival is free to attend, with a wide range of merchants and entertainers in attendance. The festival will be set up by the Cook Carillon Tower on both Saturday and Sunday. Sunday wraps down the weekend with a free Pancake Breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon in the Holton Hooker Learning and Living Center. The last event for this year’s Family Weekend is a Catholic Mass at 5 p.m., hosted at St. Luke’s. 

With such a variety of activities and events to participate in, the 2019 Family Weekend will offer a great experience for family and visitors of the GVSU community. Make sure to check out the Family Weekend web page, where you can find more information about all of the events happening next weekend!