Family Weekend offers an array of events

GW’s annual Family Weekend kicks off Friday, giving students and their parents a chance to enjoy D.C.’s attractions, music, culture – and some “Midnight Madness.”

The weekend has been the result of long-term planning, said Rodney Johnson, director of Parent Services.

The upcoming weekend is filled with numerous activities that extend into the city. GW hopes to make it easier for families to take advantage of the capital, he said.

Tickets will be available to go to the top of the Washington Monument and to see IMAX films at the Museum of Natural History and the National Air & Space Museum.

The Department of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance will sponsor the Cabaret Showcase Friday night.

Johnson said the Cabaret Showcase was a huge success last year.

“Parents enjoyed events that students were involved in,” he said.

Following the showcase, “Midnight Madness” opens at 10:40 p.m. for students and their families. A light show, fireworks and plenty of noise will highlight the ceremonial opening of the GW basketball season.

The weekend begins Saturday with a welcome from GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg and Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services Robert Chernak. The featured speaker for the event will be journalist Bob Woodward, who gained fame for his reporting of the Watergate scandal.

After Woodward speaks, the Parents’ Association will hold its annual meeting.

Other events include Octoberfest, which is geared toward younger siblings of GW students. Held on the Mount Vernon Quad, there will be face-painting, hay rides, pumpkin carving, cider and music. The day concludes with a University-wide reception that brings together both students and faculty groups.

But the highlight of the evening is the Four Tops in concert, which has been sold out for more than two weeks, Johnson said.

With the many different opportunities offered to families this weekend, GW hopes to prove its commitment to getting families involved with the University, Johnson said. In attempts to make the weekend more accessible, the usual registration fee was waived and campus parking will be available the entire weekend for $7.

The Dessert, Coffee and Jazz Reception, sponsored by the Substance Abuse Prevention Center, will take place Saturday night.

“Because we don’t have football in the fall, Family Weekend becomes an even more important event at the University,” Johnson said. “It’s the only time throughout the academic year that families are specifically invited to campus.”

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