Family Weekend kicks off today with array of activities

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    Grab your safari hat and enjoy a weekend in the jungle for this year’s Family Weekend.Family Weekend, which starts today, brings together students and their parents for a weekend of music, dancing, barbecue and football. Programming Council is in charge of the event.

    “I think that having parents weekend really brings everyone together at TCU,” said Jayne Hermann, a sophomore fashion merchandising major. “It is a great way to meet new people and share the TCU experience with your parents.”

    There is a jungle theme this year, said Lindsay Rames, director of Family Weekend.

    “We originally wanted to do something at the zoo on Friday, but weren’t able to do that because of lacking funds,” Rames said. “(Programming Council) thought it was a good idea though, so decided to keep the theme.”

    The festivities begin today at noon and families can check in at the Brown-Lupton Student Center while the jazz band performs.

    “This is the 30th year in a row that the TCU Jazz Band will be opening up Family Weekend,” said Larry Markley, director of the Student Center.

    Families can participate in campus tours and class visits Friday afternoon, followed by “A Night In the Jungle” dinner and entertainment at Frog Fountain.

    On Saturday, families can join Kappa Alpha Theta in its annual 5K race benefiting Child Advocates of Tarrant County. The race is followed by a trip to Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth and a pregame barbecue before the Frogs take on New Mexico at home. The game starts at 6 p.m.

    “Before the football game there will be a cookout (and) the cheerleaders, showgirls and band will be teaching a spirit lesson,” Hermann said.

    Families leave on Sunday after an afternoon brunch.

    “This year we’ve had the most ticket sales in a really long time,” Rames said. “We’re expecting high numbers and hoping that the families think there’s a diverse variety of things and they got what they paid for.”

    Rames said the team members of her Family Weekend project have put in long hours preparing for this event.

    “We started planning in February and I have a committee of about 20 who have been helping a lot,” Rames said.

    Rames said the planners have done a few things differently this year.

    “We marketed our shirts to the Greeks this year, which hasn’t been done before,” Rames said. “This year there was also a new online portal for people to pay with.”

    Rames said this year’s Family Weekend looks like it will be successful.

    “We are reordering a bunch of new things for this weekend because so many new people signed up and we ran out of supplies,” Rames said.

    Markley, adviser to the project team, said he thinks this is a learning experience for all.

    “This is educational training for everyone,” Markley said. “The project team learns as much putting this together as parents do visiting the campus.