Robbie Elsbury Jr.
Relatives of current Warhawks gathered across campus on Saurday, Oct. 5 to celebrate the annual Family Fest.
It is a time for parents and families’ of all undergraduate students to exhibit and participate in Warhawk spirit. Family Fest features a football game and a cookout with both events happening in the afternoon, and with additional films, comedians and speakers in the evening.
Family Fest is important for parents to celebrate Warhawk pride and community with their children.
“It’s a great campus community. People are friendly, outgoing, and I just enjoy being on campus,” said Jeff Gebauer, native of Springfield, Illinois. “It’s nice just being together with family and being outside.”
Whitewater has been celebrating Family Fest since the early 1980’s when it was known as Parents’ Day, but got changed to Family Day to be inclusive to all family members.
Only since 2010 has Family Fest reported to First-Year Experience, and along with that was the name changed to what we now know as Family Fest.
Joseph Gebauer, a student at Whitewater, had this to say about his family coming down for Family Fest, “It is nice to visit with everybody, [it is] a long drive so I do not get to see them often, and it is nice to see everyone walking around and watching the football game.”
During the Family Fest of 2016, the Warhawk football team set an NCAA Division III record for total attendance with a crowd of 17,535 which resulted in a Warhawk win 17-14 over UW-Oshkosh Titans.
Beth John’s, the director of the First-Year Experience, said her favorite aspect of Family Fest was “seeing students host their families on campus and the Warhawk spirit and pride which permeates the campus.”
A big part of Family Fest is the activities, which this year included bowling, Willie’s Fun Zone which let kids get their pictures taken with
Willie the Warhawk and both men and women’s wheelchair basketball teams, as well as the football game, UW- Whitewater vs UW-Eau Claire Blugolds. Overall, Family Fest is a time-honored tradition that is celebrated each year and we all hope many more are celebrated years down the road.