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(From left to right) Bill Stec, Helen Stec and Kelsey Gallagher take a selfie at the Outdoor Pursuits zip line during the 2018 Parents Weekend.

Parents return to Athens for Family Weekend

Family Weekend, also commonly known as Parents Weekend, is one of the most popular weekend events that Ohio University sponsors throughout the year. Although it is usually held soon after move-in weekend, many parents still make the trek to see their Bobcats.

The university’s Performing Arts and Concert Series sponsored two events for Family Weekend this year: a magic show, hosted by Daniel Martin, and a comedy show hosted by Preacher Lawson. Outdoor Pursuits also hosted a stargazing event, where families could enjoy s’mores and outdoor activities. 

This year was a bit different than past Family Weekends at OU, as there was no home football game during Family Weekend. However, the fact that the Bobcats had an away game didn’t seem to damper the spirits of the many reunited families spending quality time together in Athens. Many families found their own ways of spending time together and doing the things they loved, even if it was not activities sponsored by the university.

Otis Hess, a Bobcat dad and Ohio University alumnus from the class of 1990, returned to Athens to visit his daughter, Riley Hess, for the weekend. The pair did quite a bit of shopping in uptown Athens during Family Weekend, and particularly enjoyed shopping at Ohio is Home, a local business located at 43 S. Court Street. 

The Hess family also stopped at Bagel Street Deli and were in great spirits, despite the fact that they waited a long time for their food. 

“Even though the line was horrendous, it was worth it,” Hess said.

The Hess family was also excited to go to Casa Nueva and meet up with Riley’s mom, Marybeth Hess, who had to come to Athens later on Saturday because she had work. 

“There’s something about the energy at OU,” Hess said. “You can see it. Everyone’s excited. I know I’m really happy to be here with Riley, and it makes my day.” 

Jim and Leanne Odson made the trek from Lexington, Ohio to visit their daughter, Emma Odson, for Family Weekend. The Odson family brought a very special guest with them for Family Weekend: their 1-and-a-half-year-old chocolate lab, Marshall. 

“He loves people, and we thought we would try to bring him around to get him socialized a bit,” Jim Odson said. “He does great.” 

Marshall is a very friendly, calm dog that enjoys the attention and adoration of so many college students, who are likely missing their four-legged friends from home. Marshall visited Emma’s dorm, where he met many students who were more than happy to see a dog in their dorm. 

“He went into her dorm and just went around to each of the rooms and had to say ‘hi’ to everybody,” Leanne Odson said. 

The Odson family spent a fun weekend outside, where they hiked to Ash Cave, went to the Rocky Boot Store, and walked around Athens. 

Marshall was an absolute hit with college students in Athens, as many students stopped to pet him and enjoyed how friendly he was. Dogs like Marshall are a true testament to how our four-legged friends are family too.

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