Something big is coming to Athens this weekend. While talk swirls around campus of the incoming winter weather, the real event will be the storm of siblings visiting Ohio University.
The tradition of Sibs Weekend continues this year, despite current COVID-19 guidelines limiting visitation options by prohibiting off campus guests in residence halls. Still, there are plenty of exciting events for students and their siblings to enjoy this weekend.
The activities kick off Friday night with a variety of events and performances for students and their siblings. The weekend begins with “Apollo Night” in Baker University Center’s ballroom, a variety show with $3 tickets. The event will include performances and a photo booth.
For a magical evening, catch “Carbonaro: Lies on Stage” in the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium. The event, which begins at 8 p.m., features the star of The Carbonaro Effect, actor and magician Michael Carbonaro. The show is $30 and promises magic, tricks and wonder.
For those wanting an outdoor evening, Outdoor Pursuits is hosting a Stargazing and Campfire event at The Ridges beginning at 8 p.m. After meeting at Ping Center, the evening will begin with a short hike around The Ridges, followed by marshmallow roasting, stargazing through telescopes and listening to stories of the sky and The Ridges. Participants are advised to wear weather-appropriate clothing and bring a water bottle to this $10 event.
Lionel Mauron, head coach of OU’s hockey team, said the team was excited for their siblings to see them play. However, the games hockey games this weekend were recently cancelled due to inclement weather.
“It's always a really fun weekend because we get a lot of fans in the rink and our players get to play with their siblings in the rink so they're really motivated,” Mauron said.
Saturday brings a scavenger hunt around campus hosted by the University Programming Council. Abby Spencer, a senior studying psychology and sociology-criminology, serves as the university events vice chair for the council and said the hunt will be an exciting competition.
Spencer explained the scavenger hunt will begin at Baker Center at 10:30, and includes 10 locations around campus. Participants will race to visit each spot and take a photo of themselves proving they visited before hurrying back to Baker. The first three groups to return will receive a gift basket as a prize.
The scavenger hunt is free, and participants will receive tumblers as a souvenir. There will also be a photo booth available in Baker Center for keepsakes, as well as prepackaged snacks offered, in accordance with current campus COVID-19 guidelines.
Spencer said the council chose to do a scavenger hunt in order to allow students to show their siblings around, and for students to see parts of campus they may not have seen before.
“We thought that this was a really cool idea to bring the siblings into touring the campus and seeing more of that, as well as capturing those photos,” Spencer said. “We went into planning where we thought some cool locations would be to take your siblings, as well as if their parents come, some cool places that their parents might have not seen before. And then that way you have these keepsake photos that you could use.”
Saturday morning also offers a weekend day hike starting at 11 a.m. Students can walk through Hocking Hills State Park with their siblings on a five-hour guided hike. Participation is $15 and will be centered at Conkles Hollow. The group will meet at Ping *Center, and the registration fee includes transportation and snacks.
At 2 p.m. Saturday students can watch the OU Bobcats take on Western Michigan in a men’s basketball game at The Convo.
Saturday night is the Sibs Weekend Concert featuring Key Glock and DJ Bandcamp. Doors open at 7 p.m. at Templeton Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, and the show starts at 8 p.m. Hosted by the Black Student Cultural Programming Board, the event will star the 24-year-old rapper, and tickets can be purchased online for $25-$35.
Saturday evening offers another round of stargazing at The Ridges, and Sunday brings another daytime hike, both mirroring the same time and place as earlier in the weekend.
Kendra McKitrick, a sophomore studying geography, said she likes the opportunity to host siblings, but wishes the residence halls were open so siblings could have more places to stay.
“I’m really excited to bring my little brother here eventually, but I think I definitely want to do it when he can just come and stay with me,” McKitrick said.
Spencer said she is especially excited for the events this year because her sister will be visiting her.
“For me, who's graduating, this is really only my second Sibs Weekend I've had with my sister,” Spencer said. “(For) one my sister didn’t get to come out and the other one I didn't get to have because of COVID, so it's really special to me to be able to have these last moments with her.”