For the past 10 years, UT has held an annual family weekend on campus for students and their parents with tons of events and activities to engage in together. This year promises to be even better with approximately 3,700 students and family members expected, more activities and the celebration of 10 years of the event.

“Our office and staff within the Division of Student Life looks forward to this annual event when we welcome family members to campus,” Emily Parker, director of the Parents Association, said. “There are so many events for parents, students and guests to spend time on campus and take advantage of great programming.”

Coordinated by the Office of the UT Parents Association, Family Weekend kicks off on Friday, Sept. 9, when UT families will begin checking in for their weekend stay in Knoxville. Check-in begins at 4 p.m. followed by tours of the historic and newly renovated Ayres Hall.

On Friday, from 4-8 p.m., there will be a silent auction held in the UC for all guests to attend. There will be 140 items available at the auction, including tickets to football games, sports memorabilia, movie passes and screenings, dinner gift certificates, hotel stays, original art and lots of exciting Volunteer gear according organizers. All proceeds from the silent auction will directly benefit the UT Parents & Families Fund, which provides scholarships to UT students.

Friday evening will also include activities such as a Lady Vols soccer game, an ice cream social for all parents and guests to attend and a comedic performance put on by “Mad Chad” Taylor, who will be juggling chain saws.

To end Friday night, there will be a showing of “The Blind Side” in the UC, or parents can head to the Nielsen Physics Building for star gazing with the Astronomy Department. All of the events planned are very family friendly in respect to all of the guests attending family weekend.

Saturday is a big day for UT as there is a football game on campus against the University of Cincinnati Bearcats. Kickoff is not until 3:30 p.m.; however, there will be several events to attend beforehand. Beginning at noon, there will be a tailgating event in Circle Park with plenty of entertainment, music and games for the whole family. During the tailgate, guests will be able to make any final bids on any item at the silent auction.

The Parents Association is excited to partner with Volunteer Dining to support the Make Orange Green Initiative on campus according to organizers.

“We are really pushing for a zero waste event,” Avery Howard of the Parents Association said. “There will not even be any trash cans on site; only recycle bins. We are trying to keep UT a green campus.”

All plates, napkins and cutlery used at the tailgate are 100 percent compostable, and all cans and bottles will be recycled.

Since it is game day, the traditional Vol Walk will take place as always before the game. Guests will be able to join in on the UT tradition as the football team makes its way into Neyland Stadium.

As a Family Weekend conclusion on Sunday, there will be two different brunches held in Presidential Courtyard. The first brunch will be for alumni parents and families to attend as well as general Family Weekend guests, while the second brunch will be for the parents and guests of the Greek students at UT, along with the rest of the general Family Weekend guests.

After the brunch, parents and guests will have the opportunity to attend several different events on or off campus, such as visiting the McClung Museum, the Knoxville Museum of Art or visiting the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, along with other activities available to participate in.