Skip to main contentSkip to main navigationSkip to footer content
Events | Featured | AlumniSeptember 29, 2023

Family Weekend Festivities Slated for Oct. 6-7

Written By: Rachel Putman

At the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith the importance of family in a student’s educational journey is celebrated year-round, but on the First Week of October, the celebrating ramps up. The much-anticipated 2023 Family Weekend is set to take place October 6-7, with a slate of activities for all ages. 

Throughout the weekend, students are invited to show off all the campus has to offer to their parents, siblings, and children. 

An annual Family Weekend highlight is the Haunted Hustle 5K, hosted by the UAFS Alumni Office. Participants are encouraged to don their favorite family-friendly costumes and indulge in trick-or-treat fun along the campus-wide course. Check-in starts at 9 a.m., and the race begins at 10 a.m. 

At noon, immediately following the 5K, the Family Weekend Tailgate will kick off in the Stubblefield parking lot between Echols and Waldron Ave. Featuring entertainment by Elite Beats, friendly competitions, and prize giveaways, attendees will surely have a roaring good time. 

All ages are welcome to enjoy the assortment of inflatables and games, including an obstacle course, Wrecking Ball, castle, football game, Giant Jenga, and Giant Connect 4.

A picture-perfect fall photo booth with props and unlimited print copies will also be set up at the tailgate, offering families a fun takeaway.

From noon – 2 p.m., Chartwells, the university’s food service provider, will serve fall-themed meals and snacks at no charge, alongside an optional chili cookoff event.

Presented by UAFS Fraternity and Sorority Life and Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity, the chili cookoff will heat things up, with all proceeds benefiting the Independence Fund for disabled veterans. For just $5, attendees can savor a wide range of chili offerings and vote for their favorites. Awards will be presented to both the people’s and the judge’s choices.

(All 5K participants and Den Day attendees will also have free access to all the offerings of the chili cookoff.)

As the tailgate ends, the Student Government Association (SGA) will pay tribute to the prestigious UAFS Family of the Year in Stubblefield Center, followed by a Lions Volleyball game at 2 p.m. Families are invited to stay and cheer on the Lions as they take on Texas A&M International. 

To bring new lion families into the fold, the tailgate serves as a culmination for the university’s annual Den Day, an immersive opportunity for prospective students and their families to step into the shoes of a full-time student, providing a firsthand glimpse into the world of academia and campus life. Personal tours of classrooms and labs associated with each academic area will be provided, along with one-on-one question-and-answer sessions with UAFS faculty and staff. 

For those looking to stock up on their university blues, the UAFS bookstore will have a table at the tailgate and games, offering discounts to attendees.

Registration can be completed on the official Family Weekendwebsite: While there is no charge for the Tailgate or Volleyball games, registration is required.

Later in the month, the university will welcome families back for a Halloween tradition. On October 28,  at 6 p.m. for the Campus Activities Board's 19th annual Haunted University. Partnering with university and River Valley organizations, participants will enjoy a family-friendly environment filled with free carnival games, trunk-or-treat, and candy.

  • Tags:
  • Greek Life
  • Fraternities and Sororities
  • Family Weekend
  • Family
  • Student Success and Retention
  • New Student and Family Programs

Media Relations

The UAFS Office of Communications fields all media inquiries for the university. Email for more information.

Send an Email

Stay Up-to-Date

Sign up to receive news and updates.


Rachel Rodemann Putman

  • Director of Strategic Communications
  • 479-788-7132
Submit A News Tip