West Virginia Universitys Mountaineer Parents Club is turning 10, and what better way to celebrate than with thousands of its closest family and friends?

WVU is pulling out all the stops for its annual Fall Family Weekend Sept. 23-25, offering families a sample of everything WVU has to offerfrom class visits and open houses to the Universitys nationally acclaimed WVUp All Night weekend entertainment program, including the first elimination round of WVU s popular Mountaineer Idol competition.

On Friday, Sept. 23, families are invited to stop by the Fall Family Weekend Welcome Center from 5-8 p.m. in the Creative Arts Center lobby, where they will be greeted by WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. and his wife, Susan, who chairs the Mountaineer Parents Club as a full-time volunteer.

The welcome center will feature light refreshments, a Division of Art pottery sale, class ring sales and entertainment from the Jenny Wilson Jazz Trio, as well as the College of Creative Arts. The WVU Bookstore also will set up a satellite store where WVU families can purchase the latest WVU gear.

As a bonus, the first 1,000 visitors to the welcome center will receive complimentary limited-edition leaf pins and commemorative T-shirts celebrating the 10 th anniversary of the Mountaineer Parents Club.

That evening,Americas No. 1 TV dad,Bill Cosby, will return to the WVU campus for two sold-out shows (7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.) at the WVU Creative Arts Center. Other options include WVUp All Night activitiesmovies, pool, bowling, free food and morein the Mountainlair student union and Flick-n-Float (watch a family-oriented movie while floating in the leisure pool) in the award-winning Student Recreation Center.

Saturdays (Sept. 24) busy lineup starts with the Mountaineer Parents Club annual meeting at 8:30 a.m. in the Erickson Alumni Center. This is an opportunity for families to meet top administrators, who will share whats hot on campus and discuss any concerns parents may have about the University.

Tickets are still available for the Mountaineer Family Tailgate from 10-11:30 a.m. at Milan Puskar Stadium (Tent City III Light Blue Lot). Always a popular event, families can mingle while enjoying a brunch buffet, hosted by the Hardestys, and entertainment by thePride of West Virginia WVU marching band, cheerleaders and Mountaineer mascot.

At noon, families have a chance to catch the Mountaineers as they host East Carolina before a sell-out crowd. During halftime, banners will be presented to the winners of this years outstanding in- and out-of-state clubs from Boone/Lincoln counties and central Maryland. (For gameday reminders, go tohttp://www.msnsportsnet.com/and click on game day.)

The WVU marching band will also present a patriotic show, complete withThe Stars and Stripes ForeverandAmerica the Beautiful.

Other weekend highlights include the mens soccer game against South Florida at 7 p.m.

Friday at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium (Tickets are $5 at the door); the All-American Post-Game Dinner Buffet immediately after Saturdays football game in the Milan Puskar Center Thomas Room (tickets required); art exhibit from 1-9 p.m. Saturday in the College of Creative Arts Laura Mesaros Gallery; Mountaineer Idol competition, a spinoff of the hit reality TV series,American Idolat 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 in theLair; and Ring Day ceremony and reception from 1-2 p.m. Sunday in the Erickson Alumni Center.

Along with these activities, families can use the Student Recreation Center for free and participate in self-guided tours of the incredible Downtown Library Complex and unique Visitors Resource Center throughout the weekend.

Many WVU parking lots and garages will be free to Fall Family Weekend visitors after 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 (more info:http://www.wvu.edu/ffw/). Families may ride the PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) for free Friday from 6:30 a.m.-10:15 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

On game day, limited free parking is available at the WVU Coliseum. Families may pay $3.50 to ride a round-trip shuttle to the stadium or choose one of the public paid lots closer to the stadium.

We are pleased to extend this invitation to families for Fall Family Weekend,said Susan Hardesty.This is one of the most exciting times in the history of the Mountaineer Parents Club and WVU . With the help of our families, our enrollment has grown, our retention rate is up and our student-centered efforts have made WVU the college of choice by both students and their parents.

Sabrina Cave, director of the Parents Club, said Fall Family Weekend is always well attended and this year is no exception. Since June, some 5,700 football tickets have been sold through the Parents Club Fall Family Weekend promotion, she noted.

This annual event introduces parents to the Universitys academic life and the rich variety of programs that contribute to the Universitys national reputation,she said.Fall Family Weekend is a special time on campus for WVU families and students. This is a weekend that the University looks forward to all year.

Fall Family Weekend on the Net:http://www.wvu.edu/ffw/

Mountaineer Parents Club on the Net: http://www.wvu.edu/~parents/