Vandal fathers will celebrate Dads’ Weekend Friday through Sunday just before Christmas break begins, but this year’s timing does not follow the norm.
Dads’ Weekend is customarily set for September or October during a home football game, but the Sun Belt Conference limits timeslots for the event, said Blaine Eckles, dean of students.
“This year, we didn’t have too many home football games, especially during October and September,” said Kristina Godinez, Dads’ Weekend committee chair for the Student Alumni Relations Board (SArb). “This was the only (weekend) we really had open to plan around.”
Setting Dads’ Weekend in December was the biggest challenge for SArb members, she said. But it allowed the coordinators to be more creative and plan new events, Godinez said.
“Last few years have been forgiving,” Eckles said. “It’s not as an ideal (schedule) as we’d like it to be. It definitely doesn’t stop us from having a good time.”
The weekend will include multiple events like “A Christmas Carol” and ice skating as well as basketball and football games Eckles said.
“I am really looking forward to the beer tasting event,” Godinez said. “This is the first time we hosted this specific event and we have been planning this for months now.”
Godinez was committee chair for Moms’ Weekend last spring and said she fell in love with the process.
“I applied to become committee chair for Dads’ Weekend,” Godinez said. “I wanted to use the skills I gained from Moms’ Weekend to use and expand for Dads’ Weekend.”
She said it was exciting to work with local companies of the Palouse to pull the event together.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of excitement and the families that come to the campus will be busy with the community,” Eckles said. “It creates a wonderful opportunity for parents to walk around campus.”
Another highlight is the University of Idaho’s Agriculture Strolling Supper to entertain families with dancing and feasting. Along with the Moscow Winter Market, 42 vendors will provide a range of produce, meats and honey.
The end of the weekend will include a farewell breakfast in the Bruce Pitman Center Sunday.
Dads’ Weekend does not only hold events for father and student relations, Eckles said — there are moms, aunts, uncles and family friends who come to celebrate as well.
Godinez said she remembers friends and parents having a great time during last year’s Dads’ Weekend.
This tradition also stretches to alumni and the Vandal family network that UI built over the years, Eckles said.
“We have a really tight community,” he said. “I think that grows into the alumni. We want to create it in our family, so they also feel that close connection to the institution. Whether they went (to UI) or not, and just being a part of the fold.”
Catherine Keenan can be reached at email@example.com