Opportunities to take in NCAA Division I and Division II sports, and benefit from discounts offered by downtown Big Rapids businesses will be available to students of Ferris State University and their guests during the third annual Bulldog Family and Friends weekend Friday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 21.
Parents Committee spokeswoman Melanie Mulder, the Financial Aid Office’s coordinator of outreach programs, said organizers were very pleased by 2017’s participation numbers, as they showcased the Ferris-Grand Valley football rivalry game among activities.
“Having families in to enjoy these activities is important, and we hope that everyone learns more about Ferris and the city of Big Rapids by taking part,” Mulder said. “We focus on making everyone aware that the university wants their student to excel in their studies and succeed in their pursuit of a career.”
Mulder said students can register Family and Friends guests up to 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17. The first sign-in will be held Friday, Oct. 19 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the University Center Information Desk.
“The kick-off event will be from 4 p.m. until 7:30 on Friday evening,” Mulder said. “Students showing our wristband will be able to buy discounted tickets to the Ferris-Mercyhurst hockey game at the Ewigleben Sports Complex Ticket Office, starting at 4 p.m. We will also show ‘Ant Man vs. The Wasp’ at 7 and 9 p.m. in a family night presentation on Oct. 19, so we really hope they can make one of the shows in our University Center.”
On Saturday, Oct. 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., a Welcome to Downtown event will offer those with Family and Friends wristbands a variety of discounts. Mulder said they amassed 18 different business discounts while the Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau building is set to serve as a welcome center and the Belle Tire mascot can be found at Michigan and Maple for selfies and other fun.
“We find that people enjoy the chance to visit the downtown and consider the discount opportunities,” Mulder said. “Belle Tire is preparing to open one of their outlets in the community, and their ‘Tireman’ will be on hand to make everyone feel welcome.”
The Bulldog hockey and volleyball teams have home contests on Saturday, Oct. 20, and a “tailgate” event for the Saturday, Oct. 20 hockey game against Mercyhurst is free and available to all participants wearing Family and Friends weekend wristbands beginning at 5 p.m in Jim Wink Arena.
“Beyond these events, there will also be a free show at Williams Auditorium, with the Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team ready to put on a great performance, starting at 8 p.m.,” Mulder said. “We really like their organizational backstory, which we think will appeal to both our parents and students.”
The Parents Committee has left Sunday, Oct. 21 free of scheduled events to allow adequate time for families and friends to connect with their students, and accommodate their travel schedules.
The entire Ferris State University Bulldog Family and Friends Weekend schedule is available online.
PHOTO CAPTION: Hockey games against Mercyhurst University are among the entertainment options for participants in Ferris State University’s Bulldog Family and Friends Weekend Friday, Oct. 19 to Saturday, Oct. 21. A special tailgate event beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 in Jim Wink Arena is free to those wearing Family and Friends wristbands, before the second game against the Lakers.