Annual Family Fest to feature music concert, off-campus tours, special cookbook

By Kaia Arthur

Macalester’s annual Family Fest begins today.

“Family Fest is a time for students to reconnect with their families and share their wonderful and varied collegiate experiences,” Irene Kao, Assistant Dean of Students said.

The college has scheduled a number of Family Fest activities. The International Roundtable is also taking place this weekend.

President Brian Rosenberg will deliver his State of MACunion address this afternoon. Other scheduled events for Friday include the Student Research poster session, an Oktoberfest Dinner at Café Mac, a Family Fest Reception, and the Jazz Extravaganza.

This year, Family Fest planners have also collaborated with two campus religious organizations to accommodate families celebrating religious holidays.

“We have collaborated with [the Macalester Jewish Organization] to have Shabbat dinner [on Friday] and the [Muslim Student Association] to have a time for breaking fast for Ramadan [Saturday],” Kao said.

Saturday’s events will begin with the Wellness 5K Run/Walk. Families may also tour the campus, attend special meals and a reception, and see the second night of the Musical Extravaganza, which will feature the African Music Ensemble, the Men’s and Women’s Choirs and the Macalester orchestra. The first night of the extravaganza will feature Mac Jazz, smaller jazz combos, four voice groups and the Macalester Pipe Band.

As for activities off campus, there will be a tour of St. Paul. This year’s planners have also introduced a list of recommended Twin Cities sites for families to visit.

“Since we know that students often want families to take them off-campus as well as participate in on-campus events, we are hoping that families will ask the committee members about their recommended events,” Kao said.

For families who cannot visit the college during Family Fest, planners have added the option of submitting recipes to a special cookbook so they may still participate.

Planners also introduced online registration for Family Fest this year, a change which Kao said adds to the convenience and attraction of attending.

Four hundred people had already registered in advance by the start of this week, and Kao anticipates more registrations once families arrive on campus. Last year, total attendance was approximately four hundred people.