The University of the Ozarks campus community is gearing up for the annual Family Weekend, scheduled for Oct. 11-13.
The theme for Family Weekend 2013 is "Family Weekend Roundup," and several hundred visitors are expected to attend the various activities offered throughout the weekend, beginning with the opportunity for family members to attend classes on Friday, Oct. 11.
"On Friday family members are invited to visit classes with their students and really get an idea for the classroom atmosphere at Ozarks," said Emma Bottorff, director of campus activities and organizer of the event.
Friday night offers an art reception and showing in the Stephens Art Gallery, followed by University Theatre’s production of "In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play)," a play written by Sarah Ruhl that has been nominated for multiple Tony awards and was a finalist for the Pulitzer.
"The theatre department always works to give us a great production for Family Weekend," Bottorff said. "They always try to bring in well-known or newer plays. This year, they are working on a great show that is really unique and funny. Everyone in our theatre department is so committed to their work. Their shows are always a treat."
Saturday, Oct. 12, kicks off with one the most popular annual events of Family Weekend: The Great Bed Race. This event pits residence halls against each other as well as a faculty/staff team in a decorating contest, followed by a bed race around the Hurie Athletic Fields.
"Following the Bed Race, we’ll have the Fall Festival Fundraiser," Bottorff said. "Departments and organizations on campus will set up different booths for students and families to visit. It’s always a lot of fun and a great way for those organizations to raise money."
Saturday afternoon, Ozarks Outdoors will host a rappelling trip open to all students and family members. The trip is a great opportunity for students show their families some of the fantastic outdoor locations surrounding Ozarks. Several athletic events will be also taking place that weekend. Both baseball and softball will host alumni games, and Ozarks softball will be hosting a tournament Saturday afternoon.
A second showing of the Ozarks Theatre production is slotted for early Saturday afternoon, followed by the International Festival and Picnic, hosted at the President’s Home. A hayride and bonfire will cap the night.
"One of my favorite traditions during Family Weekend is the International Picnic," Bottorff said. "We invite our international students to share their cultures with the rest of campus. They cook different foods from their home countries. Some students will also wear traditional clothing and perform some traditional dances. We’ll have a big international buffet available for everyone, and then we’ll wrap up Saturday with the bonfire and hayride."
Family Weekend will conclude on Sunday, Oct. 13, with a student-led worship service in Munger Chapel.
"During chapel on Sunday, we’ll have students read the scripture and deliver the message. We try to make this last Family Weekend special for our seniors, in particular, by inviting them to share their stories, their memories, and their favorite moments from their time at Ozarks," Bottorff said.
To view a full schedule for the weekend’s activities, or to register for the event, go to http://www.ozarks.edu/FamilyWeekend.