This weekend, hundreds of hotel rooms booked nearly a year in advance will be put to use, as mothers revert back to their college days and flood down Court Street. The long-awaited staple of Ohio University culture, Mom’s Weekend, begins in full force Friday to once again establish itself as one of the most anticipated affairs of the year.
To prepare for the arrival of proud Bobcat moms, the university has planned a plethora of Mom’s Weekend activities guaranteeing it to be an enjoyable, action-packed weekend on campus.
Josh Gruenke, associate director of student activities, said the university encourages its departments and inner-organizations to put on the events to offer a variety of different events. The events range from active and outdoors to creative and peaceful.
Some of the more adventurous opportunities over the weekend will be put on by Campus Recreation, Gruenke said. The department will supply most of the outdoor activities of the weekend, including the Mom’s Weekend Campfire taking place at The Ridges both Friday and Saturday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. for $10.
Additionally, the Mom’s Weekend Hike will take place at Hocking Hills State Park on Saturday at 10 a.m. for $20. They are also putting on a $10 Mom’s Weekend Day Paddle on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., giving students and their moms the opportunity to set off down the Hocking River, paddling in a canoe.
Mom’s Weekend also welcomes a brand new experience to the itinerary, the Mom’s Weekend Paint and Sip: a relaxing, cool-down event hosted by the University Program Council.
The Mom’s Weekend Voice Concert featuring the University Singers, Bella Voce and the Singing Men of Ohio will take place Friday at 8 p.m. in the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, Devin Blair, a senior studying music education said.
Blair, vice president of the University Singers and the publicity manager of both University Singers and Singing Men of Ohio, said he is excited to once again participate in the event because it gives the group members the opportunity to meet each other’s families and build their sense of community.
Kearsten Miller, a senior studying music education and vocal performance, is the president of University Singers and vice president of Bella Voce. She said the concert is not only a great opportunity for others to come with their moms and listen, but it is also a rare chance for the ensemble members’ moms to see them perform.
“Usually when they (family members) come, they have to leave right after,” Miller said. “Now they get to spend time with us after we sing for them, and that’s super cool because we can experience how they felt.”
Gruenke said this is the first in-person Mom’s Weekend since COVID-19. Though there are still hybrid options for some events and the events will operate under CDC guidelines, Gruenke said it is nice to be able to host events with a greater sense of normalcy.
“Whether it's for Mom’s Weekend or Homecoming or anything, I'm excited that students are programming again,” Gruenke said. “I'm excited that students are being able to hang out, socialize and host events on campus.”
Finally, Gruenke said he hopes Mom’s Weekend offers everyone the opportunity to simply enjoy the beauty of the campus together.
“(The cherry blossoms are) really a highlight of the spring,” Gruenke said. “I hope that those are blooming, and I hope that there are some moms that are able to walk down there with their students and take advantage of that.”