Actor and comedian Bill Cosby and West Virginia University are rolling out the welcome mat for some 6,000 family members of WVU students this weekend (Sept. 23-25).

Beginning Friday and concluding Sunday, participants will enjoy round-the-clock Fall Family Weekend activitiesincluding class visits, open houses, Cosby performances, athletic events, Student Recreation Center programs and much more.

Its an ideal time to enjoy the WVU experience as a family, said Sabrina Cave, director of the Mountaineer Parents Club, celebrating its 10 th anniversary in 2005. Not only is it a beautiful time of year to visit campus, but families will have many opportunities to take part in academic and extracurricular activities that make WVU unique, Cave said.

The Fall Family Weekend Welcome Center from 5-8 p.m. Friday at the Creative Arts Center will feature a festive atmosphere complete with a Division of Art pottery sale, class ring sales, entertainment from the Jenny Wilson Jazz Trio, a WVU Bookstore satellite center, and candy apples and other carnival-like refreshments.

The first 1,000 guests will also receive Parents Club 10 th anniversary T-shirts and Fall Family Weekend leaf pins.

Fall Family Weekend is a wonderful opportunity for parents to visit their students on campus and learn more about WVU ,said Eloise Tomei, a senior special events coordinator.The welcome center is a nice social and educational event. Families can meet major administrators, faculty and staff while enjoying the camaraderie of other WVU families.

Saturdays lineup includes the Mountaineer Parents Club annual meeting at 8:30 a.m. at Erickson Alumni Center, where parents will hear from administrators about hot topics on campus; the Mountaineer Family Tailgate (ticket info: 304-293-7574), expected to draw 800-plus people, at 10 a.m. at Mountaineer Field; the WVU -East Carolina football game set to kick off at noon at Milan Puskar Stadium; and a post-game buffet at the Milan Puskar Center.

During a special halftime show, the Pride of West Virginia Mountaineer Marching Band will performThe Stars and Stripes ForeverandAmerica, The Beautiful,a tribute to the armed forces. Also, Susan Hardesty, wife of WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. and the national chair of the Mountaineer Parents Club, will present banners to the winners of this years outstanding in- and out-of-state clubs from Boone and Lincoln counties and central Maryland.

On Saturday night, the spotlight will switch from athletics to music when the curtain goes up on Mountaineer Idol, WVU s version ofAmerican Idol,at 8:30 p.m. in the Mountainlair as part of WVUp All Night, the Universitys nationally recognized weekend entertainment program. Mountaineer Idol will feature celebrity judgesincluding Susan Hardesty and Skyla Spencer, a WVU graduate and country singerand a special performance by Spencer.

Movies, bowling,Make a Hit CDbooth, caricature artists, concerts and free food are also on tap for WVUp All Night. For a complete schedule, go to .

The Ring Day ceremony and reception at 1 p.m. Sunday at Erickson Alumni Center will wrap up the weekend. WVU students who have purchased the official class ring are invited to attend this ceremony hosted by the Hardestys.

Another option is the WVU student-organized Coca-ColaDollars for DisasterBenefit Concert from noon-8 p.m. at the Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park amphitheater. Live entertainment includes rock, jazz, R&B and folk music. Admission is a donation to the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

Fall Family Weekend on the Net: