Family weekend draws a crowd

By Mary Reines

Mary Reines/Collegian

The clip-clop of horse hooves could be heard at the University of Massachusetts on Saturday as students’ families enjoyed wagon rides around the center of campus for the University’s Family Weekend.

Families filled the streets of Amherst for the event, which lasted from Friday through late Sunday.

New Student Orientation Director Jeanne Horrigan said in an email that the events “went well” and that “family enjoyed a variety of activities,” which included a student talent show at the Student Union’s Cape Cod Lounge on Saturday.

Some of the more popular events, according to Horrigan, were hayrides and pumpkin decorating. Families also enjoyed freshly dipped caramel apples outside of the Student Union.

More than 700 families – about 2,700 people – registered for the weekend, with 2,600 people actually attending the festivities. More people, Horrigan said, attended this year’s weekend than in 2011.

Families were also treated to athletic events, such as the men’s soccer match against St. Joseph’s on Friday afternoon and the hockey opener later that night.

On Saturday, the University offered a continental breakfast to families staying over for the weekend. Several tours – which included visits to construction areas and research labs on campus – were also offered that day.

Events finished at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, culminating with a visit to the nationally acclaimed Permaculture Garden.

Horrigan said the next family weekend is slated for next fall. The date has yet to be determined.

Mary Reines can be reached at [email protected] and Herb Scribner at [email protected]