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WIU's Family Weekend is scheduled for Sept. 7-9 and coincides with the annual Macomb Balloon Rally.
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WIU Family Weekend Set for Sept. 7-9

August 23, 2012

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University will host its annual Family Weekend, Friday, Sept. 7 – Sunday, Sept. 9, featuring a schedule packed with activities for everyone.

Family Weekend, sponsored by the University Union Board, provides an opportunity for students and their families to better acquaint themselves with the campus and Macomb community. Check-in will be from 5-7 p.m. on Friday and then again on Saturday morning from 8-10 a.m. outside of the Office of Student Activities on the first floor of the University Union.

This year's event coincides with the 26th annual Macomb Balloon Rally, which includes three scheduled hot air balloon flights by 25 regional pilots and the popular balloon glow event on WIU's Vince Grady Field. Flights are scheduled at 6 p.m. Friday, from the field and at 6:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, with pilots flying into the field.

After the final flight, the pilots will set up their balloons and will light them up against the night sky, accompanied by the local band "The Beck Brothers." All scheduled flights are subject to cancellation depending on weather conditions.

All balloon rally events are open free to the public.

Friday night's Family Weekend entertainment includes nationally known comedians from the show "Whose Line is it Anyway." Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Chip Esten and Jeff B. Davis showcase "Whose Live Anyway" at 7:30 p.m. at Western Hall. Tickets range from $10 to $30 and are available at

Saturday's events begin with a Rocky 5K Run/Walk starting at 9 a.m. at the Donald S. Spencer Student Recreation Center. The annual Family Weekend nine-hole golf scramble is also planned for the Harry Mussato Golf Course on the edge of campus. To reserve your place, pre-registration through the Family Weekend website is recommended for these activities and same day registration is limited.

From 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, WIU art students will be selling handmade silkscreen items at the Murray Street Café in the University Union and a children's book sale will also take place in the Union Concourse.

Saturday afternoon the Leatherneck football team will take on Indianapolis at Hanson Field. Kick-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Prior to the game, tailgating will be held in the southwest corner of Q-Lot from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. A free Family Weekend carnival will also run from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on the west side of Hanson Field and the Journey Tribute Band, "Evolution," will perform a free concert near the field from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

From noon – 3 p.m. a Family Weekend picnic will be held under the tent, near Hanson Field. Registration is recommended to qualify for four free meals per student family, up to a maximum of 400 people. Extra meals for campus guests are $5 (hot dog) and $6 (hamburger).

On Sunday, families can gather in the Bayliss-Henninger or Corbin Hall dining center for brunch. A la carte meals will be available from 11:15 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. from Sodexo Campus Services.

The weekend's events end Sunday afternoon when families can enjoy local sites, such as WIU's Horn Field Campus or local lakes at Spring Lake Park, north of Macomb, or Argyle Lake State Park, north of Colchester. The climbing tower at Horn Field will be open from 1 – 4 p.m. Sunday for a $5 per person admission charge. The recreational area also features trails and acres of woodlands and prairie.

T-shirts for Family Weekend are being sold in conjunction with the Macomb Balloon Rally Committee for $15 each at the check-in areas or at the rally tent on Vince Grady Field. Proceeds benefit the Macomb Balloon Rally.

For more information about Family Weekend or to register, visit

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations