Campus News

Family Weekend Brings Wildcat Families From Across the Country to Campus

Photo by Dana Rogers.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2017) — Members of the Wildcat family reside all over the country and beyond, and this weekend many of them are making their way to campus to celebrate Family Weekend, Oct. 6-8.

“This year's Family Weekend schedule is bigger and better than it has ever been for members of our Wildcat family. The weekend will be packed with fun, family-oriented events from the Family Weekend Welcome on Friday evening to A Taste of the Kentucky Doughnut Trail on Sunday morning. We’re confident everyone will find something that interests them,” said Nicki Jenkins, assistant director of the Student Services Center and one of the coordinators of the Parent and Family Association.

The star of the weekend’s on-campus schedule is, of course, Saturday night, Oct. 7, at Kroger Field when the football Wildcats take on the University of Missouri at 7:30 p.m.

However, the largest event of Family Weekend is at 5 p.m. Saturday. That’s when the thousands who have already purchased tickets will attend the sold-out Family Weekend Tent Party on Pieratt Fields (Johnson Center Fields) at the corner of Cooper Drive and University Drive.

“Each Family Weekend event is unique and special in its own way. We hope that families will pick and choose the events that interest them,” Jenkins said.

From 5:30–8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, families are invited to stop by the free Family Weekend Welcome at William T. Young Library to take a family portrait in a photo booth and peruse a campus resource fair. Attendees will enjoy free food and a UK Bookstore pop-up shop, as well as entertainment. This event is co-hosted by the UK Alumni Association and is a joint celebration of Family Weekend, as well as the university’s homecoming.

If a family has traveled from out of state, they will have an opportunity to meet others from their area at the out-of-state meet-and-greet during the Family Weekend Welcome on Friday.

“There is a lot of interest among out-of-state families in meeting other members of the Big Blue Nation who live beyond Kentucky. We want to help connect them with one another,” Jenkins said.

Families are eagerly anticipating Sunday's event — A Taste of Kentucky Doughnut Trail — an event that continues to grow in popularity and is sold out again this year. Sunday morning at 10 a.m., attendees will taste test the best sugary goodness Lexington’s finest bakeries have to offer.

Last year, organizers were overwhelmed by the generosity of the Big Blue family at one of the newer events, the Big Blue Pantry Food Drive. The Big Blue Pantry serves UK students experiencing food insecurity by distributing nonperishable food items. Families are encouraged to bring donations for the Big Blue Pantry to Friday's Family Weekend Welcome and receive a free UK T-shirt while supplies last.

“For the last couple of years, we asked families to consider donating a can of food or a small monetary gift. Instead of one can, people will bring in grocery bags full of food for the Big Blue Pantry,” said Nancy Stephens, associate director of the Student Services Center. “That expression of concern is the best definition I can think of when someone asks me, ‘What is the Big Blue family?’”

For a detailed description of all Family Weekend events and activities, visit or download the UK Parent and Family Association mobile app. You can follow the UK Parent and Family Association on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram