The Gator Band Parents' Weekend held earlier this month provided the family members of the University of Florida’s (UF) Gator Marching Band members with all the enthusiasm and anticipation of a true UF tailgate.
Planned by UF College of the Arts Development and Special Events Coordinator Lillian Dompe, the September 13th event allowed families to watch their band member’s morning practice, tailgate with them on the College of Design, Construction and Planning lawn and watch the band’s grand performance at the UF versus University of Kentucky football game in the evening.
The tailgate, which ran from noon until 5 p.m. and accommodated over 450 students and family members, was complete with four big screen televisions playing the SEC Network’s pregame coverage of the evening’s game and BBQ catered by Bacon’s BBQ and Catering.
“The barbecue lunch was excellent and provided an opportunity to meet other band parents and some of the friends our son Pierce has made in the Gator Band,” said Jim Forquer. “We even met another couple that works in my office in Orlando that have a daughter in the band. It is indeed a small world!”
Though this was the first Gator Band Parents' Weekend, it will now be an annual event.
"The Gator Band Parents' Weekend was a wonderful event and a great time for the parents to re-connect with their students after almost a month away,” said Gator Marching Band Director and School of Music Assistant Professor Jay Watkins. “This first effort at a big-time parent's weekend was fantastic. I can't wait for next year!”