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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Family Weekend: Then and now

Almost a century ago, the UA first welcomed parents to “Mom & Dad” Day. It was 1929, just 38 years after the opening of the university and 30 years after the formation of the school’s first football team.

Since then, “Mom & Dad” day became Parents’ Day (circa 1964) and eventually transformed into the weekend-long celebration known as UA Family Weekend in 1989. 

For the past 10 years, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona has organized Family Weekend, hosting traditional events like the Ice Cream Social, Casino Night and the Saturday tailgate. 

New this year, ASUA will host a 5K run Sunday as part of Family Weekend. All proceeds from the race will go to UA’s long-time partner, Diamond Children’s Hospital. 

Over the years, ASUA has gotten Family Weekend down to a fine art, and ASUA Administrative Vice President Tatum Hammond said it’s all about the little details now. 

“We try to plan traditional events, but you also have to leave time for families to be with one another,” Hammond said.

This year, Family Weekend has coincided with Tucson’s popular folklife festival, Tucson Meet Yourself. TMY grew out of the university’s folklife program, Southwest Folklife Alliance, and it has now become a three-day event celebrating the plurality of cultures in the Southwest. 

Nonprofits and cultural groups set up food and craft stations around downtown Tucson, and musicians, dancers and folk artists come to perform onstage. “[TMY] always happens the second weekend of October and it maintains a very strict schedule,” said Lydia Breunig, the director of Outreach and Special Projects for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “… We actually have people calling and asking us when [TMY] is happening because they want to schedule their weddings around it.”

TMY is now officially listed as a Family Weekend event on the site’s schedule, and families are encouraged to attend. With over 60 different cultural groups and ethnicities represented, those who go to TMY will get a chance to experience the diversity and flare the Southwest has to offer. 

Though its name has changed over the last century, the UA tradition of bringing families together to celebrate the university and the Tucson community hasn’t changed. This weekend is a time for families to immerse themselves in tradition.

Follow Michelle Jacquette on Twitter.

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