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A guide to 2010’s Family Weekend

“Family Fun Since 1891”

That’s the theme for this year’s Family Weekend, an annual tradition at Concordia College where families are invited to come visit their much-missed Cobbers and see what they’ve been up to for the past few weeks. This year, Family Weekend is being held September 17-19. But while Family Weekend itself isn’t new to many at Concordia, there are several new events this year that students and families alike will want to check out.

The biggest change for this year is that there will not be a home football game. Instead, the men’s soccer game will be the featured sports event. Parker Metz, a senior and chair of the Family Weekend committee, said that since the football team is away playing the St. John’s University Johnnies, the committee decided it was a perfect opportunity to showcase the soccer team.

“We’re trying to make it the most attended soccer game in Concordia history,” Metz said.

There will be a tailgating party at noon on Saturday, Sept. 18, in the parking lot by the tennis court, followed by the game at 1:00 pm.

Another new feature is Christopher Carter, a mentalist, who will be performing hypnotic and mindreading tricks for Friday Fun Night. Friday Fun Night, which typically features family-oriented acts such as magicians or comedians, is at 7:30 p.m. in the Centrum. This is the first time Christopher Carter will be appearing at Friday Fun Night, but he is no stranger to the stage. He has appeared on “The Martin Short Show” and “The Donny and Marie Show.” Also, in 2005, he won Campus Activities Magazine’s “Performing Arts Entertainer of the Year” award.

Finally, a revamped event for Family Weekend 2010 is the Family Festival Carnival. The Carnival will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, and will include games such as bob for cobs, pin the beanie on the Kernel, a bean bag toss, a “fishing” contest, and face painting. Players even have the opportunity to win prizes, and there will be popcorn served. While in the past this event has been aimed at younger siblings, Karen Carlson, director of alumni relations, says that something new this year is that it’s made for all members of the family, not just kids. The games have been made to appeal to all ages, and the varieties of prizes available are geared towards mothers, fathers, students, and children.

Along with the new events this year are some of the more traditional activities that Cobbers know and love.

For instance, on Saturday morning is the Family Weekend Brunch, where families all sit together at long tables and eat and enjoy each other’s company. There is also a video show presentation. James Vair, a junior and Family Weekend Showcase co-chair, said that while he’s a bit biased toward Showcase, he would definitely recommend all students go to the brunch because it’s something that all family members can get involved in.

“It’s almost like going to a big family dinner,” said Vair.

Vair went on to say that Family Weekend lets family at home be a part of life at college, and that’s why he loves it so much.

“It gives students a chance to celebrate their old family and their new family,” he said.

Another event that’s happening again this year is Showcase. Showcase is a talent show presented on Saturday night in Memorial Auditorium. This year there will be nine acts featuring a lot of fresh Cobber talent, including Jason Bell with an original song, several piano and singing duets, as well as a group performing “Samson” by Regina Spektor.

Freshman Cathryn Erbele said that between the brunch and Showcase she’s really looking forward to Family Weekend. Even though she’s from Fargo, she’s glad Concordia puts on Family Weekend because it gives her a chance to spend a longer period of time with her family again.

But what about out-of-state Cobbers whose parents aren’t able to make it? Metz encourages those students to still come out for the Family Weekend festivities.

Carlson agrees. “This is Family Weekend and we are all part of the Concordia Family,” she said. She suggests hanging out with your roommate’s family, making a “family” out of your Concordia friends, or even inviting a faculty member to be your “family” for the day.

“[Family Weekend] really shows how Concordia cares about families, and how it is its own family,” said Metz. “You can be a freshman, hanging out with a senior, and you can be a family.”

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