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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Parents Association is expecting more than 3,000 parents and family members of UT students to attend its annual Family Weekend Sept. 24–26.

The weekend begins at 4 p.m. Friday with a reception and silent auction benefiting the Parents and Families Fund, which allows the Division of Student Affairs to respond to unanticipated student needs without having to wait for the next budget cycle. Parents Council members have organized more than 100 items for the silent auction, including autographed basketballs, footballs, numerous themed baskets and event tickets to Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga and Atlanta area attractions.

Other Friday night highlights include a Lady Vols SEC soccer match against the University of Arkansas, a tour of the James A. Haslam II Business Building and a historical tour of the campus. During this walking tour, participants will learn the background of historical buildings on campus and hear about the great Volunteers who have shaped the university during the past two centuries. A special surprise awaits participants at the Torchbearer upon the conclusion of their tour.

Also on Friday, the UT Bookstore will stay open until 8 p.m. and offer a 20 percent discount (some exclusions apply) to association members. Late Friday evening family activities include a viewing of the movie “Toy Story 3” and star gazing on the observation deck atop the Nielsen Physics Building.

On Saturday, the Parents Association will host the Big Orange Tailgate from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in Circle Park for family members, students and UT faculty and staff before the Vols take on the Blazers of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The UT cheerleaders and members of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band will be on hand to provide entertainment. During the tailgate, attendees will see the Vol Walk and then make their way to Neyland Stadium.

Sunday’s activities include another SEC match-up with the Lady Vols soccer team taking on LSU and the annual fall meeting of the UT Parents Council.

Throughout the weekend, Family Weekend registrants will enjoy discounted or free admission to many events and Knoxville venues, such as the Knoxville Museum of Art, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, the East Tennessee History Center and the Sunsphere.

Registration for Family Weekend is for UT Parents Association members and their families. For a complete schedule of events including locations and times, visit


Rebekah Winkler, UT Media Relations, (865-974-8304,

Emily Parker, UT Parents Association, (865-974- 4546,