Family Day, International Festival boast business expo, fashion show


File photo from 2017 Family Day: The Latin group Los Flamencos is the first performance of the day for the International Festival. Photo by Rolando Dupuy.

KAYLA DRAKE | Multimedia Producer

Family Day and the International Festival are taking place this weekend and have a little something for everyone. 

Events for the sixth annual Family Day include a Scotty McCreery concert, Snapchat filter, local business expo, academic open houses, Kids’ Corner, International Festival, a football game and a movie showing. A full schedule can be found here

The business expo, had upwards of 300 attendees last year, according to Nikki Cornwell, associate director of student involvement. It will take place in the lower floor of Spellmann, next to the computer lab, due to construction. Cornwell said the business expo is the most popular event after the football game. 

Families also check-in at the business expo. The St. Charles Chamber of Commerce worked with Cornwell to reach out to businesses to participate in the event. Students can expect frees items from almost every table at the expo.

When families check-in, they can buy or receive a Family Day Bundle, which includes a football ticket, Family Day t-shirt and an $8 meal voucher for Spellmann Cafeteria. 

Last year, Cornwell said Student Involvement sold 136 bundles and this year they are on track to top that count with 100 bundles already sold. 

New this year, a “Family of the Year” will be awarded a gift basket at half-time during the football game. The family must have a current student attending Lindenwood and must be nominated to win. Cornwell said it is a tradition at other schools, and her office wanted to try it out here.

“We’re always looking at ways to make events cooler and more fun,” she said.

Student Involvement will start accepting nominations for the 2019 Family of the Year next week.

Cornwell said Family Day is held in September for multiple reasons: the nice weather, a home football game, but mostly it is because a majority of the families are parents of freshmen.

“Those first six weeks are always the hardest on campus,” she said. “That’s when you lose the new students and when homesickness and things like that can set in. So we try to make that time where they can show off Lindenwood to their families.”

Family Day gives students a reason to stay on campus during the weekend and develop school spirit, Cornwell said. 

Since Lindenwood has international students who represent more than 70 countries, Cornwell said her office also hosts the International Festival during Family Day because their parents cannot come to visit.

“This gives them a way to kind of feel at home and gives them something to do as part of Family Day too,” she said.

The International Festival will feature performers doing traditional Bollywood dances, an Indian fashion show, African drummer and a henna tattoo artist. This year is also the first where performers will have a booth that attendees can visit. 

Multiple student organizations will be involved with the International Festival and Kids’ Corner events, including Greek life, Black Student Union, International Student Fellowship, Alpha Psi Lambda, a Latino fraternity, student government and Math Club.

Cornwell said the event is “a big collaboration” and all started when Dr. Shane Williamson was the head of First Year Programs. The offices and programs involved in putting on 2018’s Family Day are Student Involvement, Student Life and Diversity, Greek Life, First Year Programs, athletics, University Relations, the office for alumni and public relations, Admissions and the film series.