Every year students invite their parents or guardians to Ohio University’s campus for fun activities and a great bonding experience. 

Parents Weekend has become known as an early weekend in the fall semester that provides fun activities for parents to see what their children do on campus and share experiences with them.

This year Parents Weekend is Sept. 20 through 22, and there’s fun to spare for parents and students. 

Andrew Holzaepfel, senior associate director for student activities, is in charge of bringing shows and performances to the OU Performing Arts and Concert Series and always brings in fun shows for Parents Weekend.

“We really want to give our parents and students something fun as an alternative to just hanging out in Athens,” Holzaepfel said. 

For the 2019 Parents Weekend, Holzaepfel brought in two shows: Second City Greatest Hits Vol. 59 and Piff the Magic Dragon. 

Second City is a comedy improvisational theater troupe that tours the world with new improv shows every year. The group has many famous comedian alumnae like Steve Carrell, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Keegan-Michael Key, Bill Murray and Mike Myers, among others. Every year the troupe creates new sketches and shows to tour, so every year is different. 

The group has become somewhat of a tradition for Parents Weekend, as the group has performed during Parents Weekend for more than five years. Holzaepfel believes that because the group does such a great job winning the crowd over every year, it’s a must-have for Parents Weekend. 

“Every time we bring them in, the crowd response is extremely positive,” Holzaepfel said. “And because they change the show every year and it’s improv, every year is going to be a new show. This is either the 6th or 7th year in a row we’ve had them, and it is always very well received, so it’s a no brainer for us.”

Second City will perform at 8 p.m. Friday in the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium with an admission price of $20 that will be put toward future Parents Weekend events. 

Piff the Magic Dragon is a magician and comedian who, with the help of his sidekick dog Mr. Piffles, has performed in places like Radio City Musical Hall, the London and Sydney Opera House and as the opening act for the band Mumford and Sons during their United Kingdom tour. The duo even earned a golden buzzer on America’s Got Talent. 

Holzaepfel had the encouragement of his colleagues to book Piff, and believes he will be a huge success for Parents Weekend. 

“I should’ve booked him a long time ago because he’s selling very quickly,” Holzaepfel said. “I think it’ll be a great Parents Weekend addition. It’s the perfect combination because in the past we’ve often done a magician or comedian, and obviously Piff is both.”

Piff the Magic Dragon will perform Saturday at 8 p.m. in the MemAud with admission price of $20 that will be put toward future Parents Weekend events. 

In addition to the Performing Arts and Concert Series shows, there are plenty of other activities for parents and students to participate in. 

Friday there will be a welcome reception at 6 p.m. in Baker Center, and Stargazing and Campfire in the Ping Center lobby at 8 p.m. 

Saturday there will be a brunch sponsored by the University Programming Council at 11 a.m. in the Baker Ballroom. There will also be ziplining at the Ridges from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. hourly, where people can meet in the Ping Center lobby and take shuttles to the sight, and a football game at 2 p.m. in Peden Stadium. 

There will be a screening of the movie Back to the Future, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Athena Cinema, 20 S. Court St. To finish the weekend off, there will be a hike through Hocking Hills Sunday beginning at 10 a.m., and people can meet in the Ping Center. 

Students are looking forward to spending quality time with their parents and participating in the various activities. 

Kelly Lambers, a junior studying communication studies, is definitely taking her parents to the football game and Piff the Magic Dragon, and hopes to check out some of the other events happening throughout the weekend. 

“I’m so excited for Parents Weekend because even though I talk to my parents every few days it’s so fun to spend quality time with them in my home away from home,” Lambers said. 

Molly Glaze, a sophomore studying strategic communication, loves having her parents come for Parents Weekend because her dad went to OU, and she wants to share her college experiences with him.

“I think it’s important not only for alumni to come back and relive experiences, but also for parents who don’t get to see their kids as often,” Glaze said. “Meeting friends and professors and seeing where they live, so it’s important to be able to take at least a weekend to be able to show your parents your new life on campus.”